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Clay Mound, 2023 (Lilesville wild clay)

I found this beautiful pile of Lilesville at Starworks during my Summer residency. Before doing anything with the clay mound I sat with it, and on it, taking in my surroundings. The activities that were going on around me like the loud construction only a 100ft away, the clay factory, a dairy company across the street with trucks driving in and out, and a constant hum of birds and insects.

I intuitively started digging straight through the mound. The repetitive act of shoveling was meditative labor, similar to Mierle Laderman Ukeles work using the concept of maintenance art. I felt connected to the people working around me, construction, moving things, working with clay in an industrial area. At times it was meditative and others I had feelings of existentialism. Like what the hell am I doing? I enjoyed the idea of being able to walk directly through the mound, as well as the idea that the piece will erode with time and eventually become bags of clay and then perhaps a pot or a sculpture.

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