November 2015: Anne Mavor & Noah Starer

Noah Starer ceramic collection, entitled Ceremony and Ritual, was inspired by the tribal bowls and vessels, often seen in natural history museums. "I imagine the work to be archaeological evidence of a tribe or tribes who used these objects. Perhaps they used them to serve food at the celebration of a marriage or birth. The vessels could have been used to hold ingredients used by shamans for divination, the bowls used as adornments for shrines to their elders. With this collection I hope to encourage the viewer to take his or her own journey by imagining a history for these objects. I am inspired by the universal, shared experience of humanity and intrigued with the function of art that dives into the unknown and causes people to ask, 'What's going on here?" It is here that I find the expression of my authentic self as artist. I approach my artistic process with a sense of exploring, tearing, breaking, expanding, in order to discover what the clay came to teach. The only boundaries are those of my own limiting beliefs."

Anne Mavor has developed her technique of painting with watercolors on encaustic medium. This allows her to use watercolor in a flexible manner. Instead of painting with pigmented wax, which is the common encaustic procedure, she layers watercolor washes on top of the wax surface, which she then seals with a final layer of clear wax. The layers create a delicacy and stillness that also references moving through time and memory. The spontaneous and watery nature of this style also captures the odd and ancient qualities of the images. Anne explains "Ever since humans began to wonder about the meaning of life and why they were on the planet, they have sought understanding through the places they lived. When I was 17, my family took a trip to the British Isles where we visited ancient stone and mounds built by Neolithic cultures 3,000-7,000 years ago. My father was enthralled with these sites and their spiritual and astronomical meanings. This interest became his full time passion for the next 40 years until his death. For my part, I never forgot the experience of walking through those sites. The stones were like groups of people meeting together and the mounds like large mammals hibernating. Using his images was a profound way to connect with him."