Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Featured Work: Trespass
Source: 2017-2018 CIVA Sourcebook
From curator Michelle Westmark Wingard.
The rich texture and color palette in Allison Luce’s ceramic sculpture explores fragility and femininity.
Describe your featured work.
Trespass is a hand-built ceramic sculpture, fired with a combination of under-glaze, oxides, and mixed media. The idea for this body of work started in 2009 when I attended an artist residency at the International Ceramic Research Center-Denmark. Within my first weeks in Denmark, I noticed a perceptible transformation in my artwork. The change in climate, foliage, scenery, and culture were having an impact on my artistic development. Since my studio practice is inspired by nature, subtle deviations started to take place in my sculptures. The textures, forms, and colors began changing in response to my new environment. After three months, I had a fresh body of work that was a significant departure from what I was previously making. I am still building upon this series eight years later.
“Primoris Ortus” is comprised of a series of ceramic sculptures that explore the issue of fragility. This body of work explores femininity and its relation to the concept of eternity through ceramics, connecting my artwork made in a post-modern context to the rich and ancient history of clay. Drawing inspiration from nature and art history, this series of sculptures links my current life with a visual history from the past. The idea for this body of work comes from the story of the Garden of Eden and investigates the frailty of the body and the fallibility of man. Referencing nature as well as the body, these sculptures are about birth, growth, and temptation. At first glance, the forms seem to be living and innocent, but upon closer inspection they can appear slightly sinister and suggestive. It is this play between innocence and experience that forms the basis of my work.
What are you making now?
After spending six weeks in Europe this spring, I returned to Charlotte to create new work in the studio. Teaching for Gordon College in Orvieto, Italy, in April was a fantastic experience. I was thrilled to see the hard work and dedication of the Gordon students.
My commissioned piece for the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, was permanently installed the last weekend of June. Consisting of seven four-foot in diameter white Plexiglas panels, the piece was comprised of hundreds of hand-made ceramic objects. My largest project to date, the installation stretches forty-six feet down the hallway!
I had a solo show at UNC Charlotte during the month of September, showcasing the new work I made in 2017. This exhibition was comprised of two ceramic wall installations and seven ceramic wall pieces. After this, I am excited to start new pieces that are inspired by my trip to Europe.
Why do you belong to CIVA?
Joining CIVA engages my participation in the conversation about art and faith taking place in contemporary art today. CIVA provides a space to allow for conversation on culture, trends, and freedom of faith-based expression. As a networking platform, CIVA enables me to meet other artists, designers, and historians who share the same passion for art and faith. The CIVA community is talented and engaging, providing a great platform for collaboration. I highly recommend that other artists join, as each one brings a unique and fresh approach, adding to the beautiful mosaic of Christians In the Visual Arts.
Allison Luce graduated with dual B.F.A. degrees in Painting and Art History from Ohio University and her M.F.A. from Hunter College, City University of New York. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she is a studio artist and educator. She has shown her artwork in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, and her work is included in private and corporate collections. Luce is represented by Muse Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, and on Hilton Head Island. She has been a resident artist in Denmark, Germany, and Canada and has received numerous grants, awards,
and fellowships for her artwork.