For a number of years May Ayres has transposed her skills as an illustrator to ceramics. At the same time both the strength and fragility of the high fired stoneware oxidation ceramics lends itself to the subject matter she has pursued – the human condition in extreme situations. Not natural conditions but cruel situations – ones manufactured by tyrants and oppressors: of war and peace-time torture. In the discourse of art equating to beauty May acknowledges that some of her works are ‘horrible’. They are not intended to be “liked” – they are about ‘horrible subjects’. Yet it is difficult not to ‘like’ these beautifully crafted works, their drawn and glazed surfaces struggle with the awkward anatomy of characters deformed by their corruption. She skillfully uses the leaden weight of the clay slumping in submission then fired up to challenge the cruel domination of the oppressor. Her book “Ceramic Pictures”, published by AND, is a visual documentation of the recent exhibition “God’s Wars”. The accompanying essay by Mick Perry, eloquently tells the stories which are hidden behind each piece. May’s work ‘Amal’ is showing in the “Peace-CON+flict” exhibition at AND eventSpace One.
May Ayres “God’s Wars” Ceramic Pictures (2005-2011)
Copyright • May Ayres © 2011 • London
First published in Great Britain 2011
Design and print production by ArtZone Co-op Ltd: www.artzone.coop
A ‘taster’ of this publication can be viewed here may-ayres-ceramicpictures