Ceramic artist Mary O’Malley, discusses her 2012 series ‘Bottom Feeders’:
After attending school and living In Philadelphia I returned to my home near the ocean in Long Island, NY. Using my skills as a potter trained in traditional English and Japanese techniques I decided to create some fancy functional pieces and morph them with sea creatures inspired by memories from my childhood and my new familiar surroundings.
Covering formal ware in crustaceans – which in real life have an unforgiving ferocity – has interested me because it is a reminder that no matter how much we try to control the creation of what we think is beautiful, uncontrollable forces like nature usually end up taking over. But what truly excites me (and keeps me needing to make more) is marrying my love of functional porcelain pottery and a whimsical (or ferocious?) underwater world that mars and envelops the formality of each piece. One type of beauty is made more beautiful by co-existing with its foil resulting in two completely different aesthetics existing harmoniously as one piece.