INSPIRATIONS FROM NATURE: THE CERAMICS OF JOAN BANKEMPER
I often save old issues of magazines that I feel have articles I enjoyed reading. I feel a good story is good forever, especially in the world of art, design and antiques. Last weekend while I was browsing through a bunch of old magazines at my house in Fire Island, I unearthed a great article about
JOAN BANKEMPER is a conceptual (*) artist who has a great interest in the relationship between people and the environment. She takes her inspirations from nature and as a source for this inspiration has been successfully creating community gardens around the world for the last 15 years.
(*)NOTE:CONCEPTUAL ART was a movement that began in the 1960’s and basically values ideas over the formality of traditional art in it’s execution and presentation. (Read more here.)
Her sculptures may begin with her love of nature but go well beyond that in their execution. Each one is chock-full of a wide variety of objects and items which are randomly piled on top of each other and then conjoined with a extensive variety of other forms and shapes to create formidable, color themed creations that are truly fascinating to look at.
Some of the sculptures are what BANKEMPER labels bird habitats and dwellings, complete with holes for the birds to enter into. Each and every one of them is unique and what Nancy Hoffman, of the Nancy Hoffman Gallery which has exhibited BANKEMPER’S work, calls a “three dimensional event.”These fanciful sculptural collages push the imagination into that other zone where reality has birds and statues of Chinese goddesses and asparagus plates coexisting in harmony and delight to the eye.
BANKEMPER considers most of her sculptures to be gardens which celebrate woman’s fertility. She frequently incorporates the shape of a “loving cup,” (a sizable drinking urn with two large handles,) that traditionally was passed around at a dinner celebrating the harvest. This spiritual reference adds a dimensions to her work that is clearly evident and and helps make all her creations ethereal and provocative at the same time.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my recent discovery and learning about JOAN BANKEMPER as much as I did!