Tree Projection Testing on Vessels by Sonya Wilkins Ceramics

Projections From Nature

At the end of trimester 2 during my masters in fine art ceramics, I was required to present a body of work for assessment. This comprised of a visual evolution, showing how I made earth vessels in the ground, progressing to the interpretation of the healing power of nature through mark making (a visual language). I used video, photography and ceramic vessels together with props such as soil and plants to describe my research and making practise.

Trimester 2 Display

The display showed the evolution of three vessels from ground level (earth vessel) to a blending of commercial influence through the use of porcelain and earth (middle vessel) and finally a contemporary interpretation for interior spaces.

Vessel Evolution

Bringing Outside, Inside

My aim for this display was to bring the healing power of nature (outside), inside, so allowing my vessels to offer a moment of connection and mindful contemplation – even when we are in the midst of our busy lives.

Contemporary Activator Vessel by Sonya Wilkins Ceramics

This isn’t to replace the need for us to spend more time in nature, but instead I am offering my vessels as conduits; to allow us to reconnect with nature through their presence and touch – a reminder of nature’s significance in our well-being.

The curation of my display fortunately included a view of beautiful Willow trees through the windows as a backdrop, which helped to imbue this nature, well-being intention. I also projected a making video across the vessels onto the end wall to demonstrate how I had arrived at this authentic making practise and this resulted in an unexpected surprise…

Unexpected Results

The tall contemporary vessel happened to capture the moving visuals of my video onto it’s porcelain surface and this created a beautiful ‘visual dance’. What made this curious and enticing was the ethereal quality of the projection – it wasn’t a clear, sharp projection, so instead suggested the visuals,Light Projections acting like an echo from nature. I observed this drawing onlookers further into the display and encouraged them to look more consciously.

Not only did fellow students comment on it’s enchanting beauty, but also my tutors. This made me realise I had stumbled across another dialect in the visual language I was seeking to create. Not only did the textures and marks on the surface of my vessels imbue nature’s essence, but the projections enhanced them.

Lying Under Trees

Since then, I’ve recorded video footage of the moving canopies of trees and projected this onto the surface of the tall vessel. I’ve experimented with varying qualities of projector (givingvarying clarity of image) and I’ve also started to combine several projectors from various angles.

Floor Projections 2

I admit, I’m becoming rather obsessed with the process…lying under trees at any opportunity and noticing how projections even enhance paint markings on floors…

I’m now enthralled by the statuesque silhouettes my vessels throw against the projections on the wall. Whats more, the projections cast light through the porcelain in areas where it’s transparent enough…another beautiful consequence of this serendipitous finding. My excitement is growing and growing and so projection will certainly be part of my final show and future offerings.

Projection Silhouette

Projections Through Porcelain