This two-person exhibition offers a rare opportunity to engage with their sculptural preoccupations, where clay and mixed-media interact to inform contrasting approaches to body and soul.
Scientific findings and religious philosophy are the conceptual foundation of Mongrain's emotive work, primarily created for highly charged, visually complicated and deeply personal spiritual places; reanimating a dialogue with their architectural, cultural or historical contexts. Physically and visually simple, his abstracted iconic forms draw on elements of the tangible world but are richly coded; referencing personal metaphor, history, science and sensuality. In contrast, for Moonelis, the human body provides the focus. Via research into anatomical structures such as brain function, respiratory, circulatory, and sensory systems, her porcelain and mixed media works draw connections between our invisible internal and visible external worlds, and between the biological and the technological.
Both artists make connections between our interior lives and our exterior participation in the wider social and physical environment. Moonelis is drawn to clay because it is malleable and responsive as it records human touch. For Mongrain, there is a return to the idea of the ‘dream life of matter’. Purged of specific reference, his reductive forms are opened up to multiple interpretations to be activated by the individual spectator.
The artists, in discussion with Professor Christie Brown, Research Fellow Clare Twomey and independent curator Tessa Peters of the Ceramics Research Centre UK (CRC-UK, University of Westminster), will be joined by guest speaker Martina Margetts, Senior Tutor in Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art and leading specialist in applied art, to focus on internationalism within clay practice.