Keramiek van Patty Wouters: aanraken verplicht

After so many thousands of years of human creativity in all basic forms of visual arts, you could presume that everything has been said. And yet, artists go on exploring and renewing.  Especially in the arts of ceramics, female artists illuminate an extra dimension.

Utilitarian ceramics,  in all its forms,  is loaded in many cultures with symbolic and even sacred values. As the many goddesses of the Indian pantheon who carry pitchers. They carry water or earth.  They give life, they contain life. Motherhood and erotic,  evocated by the round forms, lines and volumes, are naturally close to the art of ceramics.

In a similar substantial way, Patty Wouters  seems to express herself very naturally in clay. Looking at the work of Patty, the viewer feels himself a bit of an archaeologist. Patty seems to invite you to dig into the rich and little explored substance of mother earth. It is not a coincidence that she often uses archaeological terms to title her work. Her creations refer to things we know from classic cultures, sometimes explicit but mostly discreet. In a personal way Patty assimilates, or rather  enriches these familiar forms. With her impressive knowledge of materials and techniques she raises the concept of utilitarian objects into a precious object, into forms, volumes, colours which you keep enjoying. She experiments with complex and complicated procedures. She uses the surprise of the firing in the kiln as a creative element. And yet, it is noticeable that she, as an alchemist, masters the firing process in a magnificent way. The fired clay appears in harmonic colours, sometimes veined as unknown marble which mother earth hasn’t revealed yet. Moreover she knows how to combine the wonderful results of the firing process with new materials, ideas and forms.  Patty Wouters elevates and refines the simple substance of mother earth. In her hands the material grows into a piece of art which never denies its “earthy” roots.

Jan Van Alphen,
Curator of the ethnographic museum of Antwerp