Gallery Exhibit: James Watkins


James Watkins 
Gallery at the Ann Felton Multicultural Center 
January 26 - February 20, 2009 

As a perceptive being, I am trying to make vessels of clay that appeal to all my senses: hearing, taste, sight, smell and touch. Each piece is comprised of preserved memories from both a personal history and a borrowed history. It becomes an artifact of my reality, made up of historical references, cultural melodies, dream images, eidetic imagery, physical stimuli and an aesthetic vocabulary.

I am influenced by many cultures and people, by my experiences in faraway places, by acute observation of nature and, in some way, by every object that I have ever seen. I approach my work from the point of view that I contain multitudes of memories which provide me with the impetus to pull from all sources. The collective history of human beings is at my disposal.

In my current work, I am actively participating in the rite of remembering, and using this rite as a creative mechanism. The forms challenge me to explore the perfect balance and depth of visual texture that I remember from the Song tea bowl. As I mentally listen to Coltrane’s energized rhythms, the studio becomes a place of improvisation. All of my memories become players – composing vivid internal images of form, line and movement.