Blush; A Soiree for the Self and With Each Other
A Solo Exhibition by Tab Link
Gallery 212, Sonoma, CA
6/24/22 - 7/21/22
Blush; A Soirée for the Self, and with Each Other (2022) is an installation of functional ceramic objects displayed within the context of a formal sitting room that plays with ideas of formal expression, self-presentation, interconnectedness, and queerness.
Each form is rooted in craft history but is altered in an attempt to queer their posture, presence, and usage. Using a mix of impulsive and calculated moves, I bend, carve, and combine thrown forms until they feel like a whole. High-temperature atmospheric firing is also a combination of impulsive and calculated moves. Surface design is decided by positioning the pieces in the kiln and how the flames will move between them; glaze and slip are applied, only to be changed by the soda vapor accumulated from our labors. In this, the kiln becomes a collaborator; and in firing a new kiln, there is a relationship that must be built and a trust that must be developed. My collaborator for Blush is “Julia,” the new soda kiln at Sonoma Ceramics – named after the late benefactor who funded its construction. My work comes into itself through this collaboration and is informed by my own experiences of self-presentation in this new community. By finishing my pieces in atmospheric firings, the kiln puts its take on the form such as society puts its take on queer bodies.
Displaying these collaborative pieces in this particular setting is a calculated move to recreate a moment where formalisms meet comfort, and expectations and self-presentation find common ground. Formal spaces can be fraught with fear but also engender intense personal curation, a sort of public performance the queer community inhabits daily. By displaying queered functional objects in this setting, the audience is invited to meditate on personal moments when they had to decide which foot is best to put forward and whether that bid for connection will be picked up and understood. These are moments in which we blush, whether it be because we are nervous or because we are seen.
Thank you to our furniture sponsors; Chateau Sonoma, Bon Marche, the Church Mouse, Suzy Q Consignments at Vignette, and our amazing community members for making this installation possible.