Ceramics: Girls with a Message

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The little girls in Amanda Smith’s exceptional ceramics are the “mouthpieces” for her message, characters she feels comfortable speaking through. Under the candy-coated flowers and bright colors, her glazed and painted clay slabs communicate her concern about the great divide of class around the world.

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Travel in India exposed her to the caste system, and to Indian miniatures, which influence her work:  “In those pieces, size often indicates status,” she explains (see video, end of post). “Smaller figures are less important, less wealthy or less powerful. They have a lower caste or status. I’ve kind of adopted that social hierarchy into my work.”

amanda4The girls who tell her stories are familiar — composites from her own childhood:  “I lived in this hyper-feminine household and so these little girls just became my mouthpieces for telling stories.”

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Smith’s work also encompasses intricate scenes with lighter focus on the trademark girls.

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