Thrown and altered porcelain, glaze and velvet underglazes
A portion of the sale price will go to We Are Not Invisible
I have always loved the texture created by text, the strength of words, the alienating properties of unknown languages and how often the same word in the same language holds a personally unique meaning for each person who utters it. The coded alphabet which cascades across the surface of these simple forms displays unintelligible messages in a common language. While the message is written in English, viewers consistently ask, “What language is it in?” Because the alphabet is unknown, thereby requiring translation back to our everyday alphabet to allow for a greater understanding, most viewers assume it belongs to a language other than their own.
My current body of work represents a continued exploration of minimalist forms derived from the abstracted human figure, an understanding that a sculptural object must be viewable from all vantage points and a love of language. The simple line of a thrown object, marred by calculated disruptions brings into question the quest to throw the perfect form and brings beauty through the introduction of imperfections.
Contained speaks of the suppression of marginalized people through the actions which cause us to feel invisible and in turn push us to pull our thoughts and dreams deep within ourselves in an effort to protect our loved ones and ourselves, in an effort to minimize the impact of those with power and in an effort to survive. With monochromatic exteriors, each form draws the viewer in to reveal a glimpse of their vibrantly colored interiors. Tightly grouped elements huddle together for the strength of community as marginalized peoples have done for ages and continue to do today. The pale matte exteriors make reference to thick protective skins that have developed over time, while the white-on-white symbols hold hushed conversations in silenced voices—planning, soothing, searching and empowering: building a movement. The glistening red interior holds our vulnerabilities: our heart, our soul and our blood, just beneath the surface. The forms within Contained silently and unintelligibly plead with the viewer to take action, whispering ever so gently to anyone who happens to listen.
Born in Atlanta, Ife Williams began her formal training in sculpture at Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan; receiving her BFA in Sculpture from University of Michigan’s School of Art and Architecture and going on to study at Syracuse University, where she completed coursework for a Masters of Arts Degree in Museum Studies.
During a two year residency with The Paul Abrams Endowment Project in Miami, Williams developed an apprenticeship program for teens, led workshops for Florida Arts Educators and created original artworks using traditional stone carving techniques. A residency at The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences was pivotal in her transition from stone to clay. Over the last three years, she has worked to refine her voice; establishing a visual dialogue with thrown and altered porcelain wall installations while developing her own language of symbols.
In her current role as Executive Director of Hudgens Center for the Arts, Williams continues to be active in Metro-Atlanta’s diverse arts community, wearing the hat of both Artist and Administrator. Her work can be found in private collections across the United States and as far abroad as Japan.