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drawing on the clay
about the artist



athletes 2012
'handle with care'
'rolled paper'

works on paper
The work and what inspires it

I combine printmaking with ceramic, using a range of print techniques to transfer texts of different kinds onto raw clay which is then formed and fired. Inspirations are newspaper headlines, newspaper texts, advertising signs, and other ‘found’ texts: my whole urban environment. The original impulse probably comes from attraction to the very early ‘print- on- clay’ of ancient cuneiform and wanting to express contemporary words using an ancient practice and material. Some of the more recent works include drawings on clay, life sketches from photographs of athletes and footballers especially. I also make sculptural objects related to paper and print – paper bags, keyboards, book forms. Alongside my ceramic practice, I am trying to develop some works of print on paper.

I have a studio at Lewisham ArtHouse (www.lewishamarthouse.org.uk) and exhibit regularly with fourfour (www.fourfourartists.co.uk) at the Affordable Art Fair autumn collection in Battersea and sometimes in New York.

Turned to stone – clay papers and found words

Contemporary newspapers and ancient writing on clay are two inspirations for my work. Some of the works mimic newspaper pages, with legible passages of text. In others, the words may have become a mere trace in a stone-like form, or a copper line melted into the clay. Something complex and manmade becomes more physical, more basic, more abstract.

The words

I see all the words used in my work as ‘found objects’ – lifted from day to day surroundings. They reflect a certain style of information and comment. In some works, the words may recall a specific event, even commemorate it in a material which is mineral and long lasting. But clay is also fragile and crumbling, so it serves as a metaphor for both remembering and forgetting.

I see this site as a window on my work, and a way of making contact with anyone interested in exploring similar ideas. My email address is mcnealjulia@icloud.com