I opened 2023 with a solo show and now I am ending 2023 with a solo show!
It isn't lost on me how fortunate I am to be showing. How lucky I am. But is it luck? I put in so much work. I get the rejection emails. I push through and I try. I keep my head up and I pivot. I pivot a lot. I research, cold call(email), and apply to everything. This year I landed two big solo shows. One started at the lovely Black Creek Arts Center in Hartsville, SC. Here we are ending at the Public Works Art Center in Summerville, SC.
You always hear stories of artist never getting a show, or maybe getting their first show at age ninety. Can you imagine?
This show was six months in the works. Which is better than my last, which only gave me two months to create twenty pieces. In true Tennyson fashion, I was still sculpting and pulling pieces from the kiln up until the deadline. Something about pressure and time lines gives me all the creative juices.
For this show, I wanted something more immersive and cohesive, but still reigning true to my work. I am not going to lie, I spent a few months just figuring it out, but once I did it was on. Due to my timeline of the show, the season of feasts, I decided to play on that. That is when "Be Our Guest" was born. I wanted an array of ceramic illustrations to be the "guest" along with the audience. With my illustrations, you get to dive into each of their stories. Choose your favorites. Who are you drawn to? Who is the worst? Go ahead and mingle. Interact. The main course, however, prepared on table, along side tiny delicasies and all presented on a menu for patrons to look over. They sit curated upon thrifted, collected, and vintage dishes. And for my slug collectors, I wanted to evoke children's tea set patterns.
Below is the statement for this collection. The show runs from November 16th, 2023 to January 13, 2024. This is your formal invitation to Be Our Guest.
~My current collection is a cumulation of my childhood. I was raised by an illustrator who chose books based on the beauty of the illustrations. Growing up, I was surrounded by animals on our farm. Studying their characteristics, how the intermingled and coexsited with each other. I often gave them back stories and human characteristics in my head. Sometimes, I would mold these creatures out of playdoh and dry them on my shelf.
In 2018, I took a wheel throwing class on a whim. In 2019, I had membership at a local pottery studio and in 2021, I created my first sculpture. What I call my ceramic illustrations. I gave these creatures backstories. It combined my love of illustrations, story telling, and a medium to with stand the test of time, unlike their playdoh counterparts.
For this current collection, I strived to make it an immersive experience. A time of feasts and gatherings. I wanted to harken to my childhood.Playful picnics and tea parties with my pets, but with a bizarre, dark dinner party flair. The guest line the walls presenting the viewers with their back stories and asking. "Will you be our guest?" Who will you be drawn to? While a tabled feast of unique dishes of plated animals, fanciful fruit, and devious delicacies present food for your eyes. Objects that often times double as a candelabra, a vase, a wall hanging, that can in turn bring your own home a unique dinning experience.