Head to Head
Susan HallsSeptember 23 through November 3, 2012
The scrutinizing ceramic faces in Susan Halls exhibition "Head to Head," fill the gallery with a continuous seam of small sculptures that penetrate the space and force the viewer to confront each piece as if they were looking at a criminal line up. The observer becomes the observed, the faces invite and repel, and hopefully, disturb. No one sculpture is larger than the hand, and the intimate scale draws the viewer in close. Soft clay that has been pushed, pulled and pinched becomes ambiguous hybrid creatures reminiscent of an ape, bird, goat, and dog. Occasionally, man-like images emerge, connections from our primitive past. "My obsession with animals and animal imagery has been more or less constant since my childhood so it is beyond doubt that they should be the dominant subject in my work. It seems right and the most honest creative front available. I do believe that part of my drive to make animals is tied up in the primitive need to posses them - like effigies and totems. In my sculpture I'm trying to create an image which traps a kind of animal truth. I strive to create work which reinvents animal form, enhancing the facts without being slavish to mere appearance."