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Young's in a terra cotta state of mind
Ceramic sculptor Bridget Youngs body of work could be called work of the body.
Youngs terra cotta sculptures, on view at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts are female forms that feature visual puns on woman as vessel, with pot and bell-like shapes for lower torsos, and head and arms attenuated into appendages that resemble handles.
Im looking at the architecture of the body, Young said, how different forms have connotations for states of mind.
While feminist art has deconstructed woman-as-object for three decades, Youngs is a particularly skillful and subtle rendering.
Young precisely locates the works on the border between container and figure. The tension generated as the viewer tries to categorize work that pushes in both directions at once makes for dynamic, edgy viewing.
Young is a self-conscious artist in a positive sense. Aware of both formal considerations and historical antecedents, she erects sensibility on the scaffold of education.
Her work embodies the benefits of training at a really good art school in her case, at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, where she was awarded a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1991.
Young now educates ceramic artists in classes at her Indianola studio. She also shows at Seattles prestigious Foster White gallery.
Young, who grew up on Bainbridge, says that bringing work home to exhibit is a way of giving back to the island, but her ambitions extend further.
I show as much as I can, Young said. Success to me is to make art full-time.
While the largest work in the BAC show is 16 inches tall, her most recent work is large-scale.
Young has a five-and-a-half foot sculpture in Seattle Art Museums rental gallery and has been invited to make an eight-foot work for the 2002 Bumbershoot festival at Seattle Center.
I want people to attach personal possessions to the Bumbershoot piece, Young said. She footnotes her inspiration to Mexican milagro, the miniature metal body parts that are affixed to velvet shrines in Mexico as supplications for good health.
I do want this piece to be a way for people to pray, Young said, a way for them to express their spirituality.
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Bridget Youngs ceramic sculpture is on view through May at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts with glass artist Merrilee Moore and photographer Cameron Bahnson.
Call 842-3132 for more information.