Artist's Statement

There are times in our lives where we may find ourselves deep in depression and not see how long we’ve been shielding ourselves from the true nature of our surroundings. In those moments there is a realization that we've buried ourselves under layers of apathy, doubt, anger, and sadness. But one can not exist in such a state; we must nourish ourselves and water our spirits like a seed. Through actions taken to heal the soul, such as acknowledging our needs, practicing self care, and being open to communication, we can germinate and grow through the layers of desolation one by one. We are able to gain a fresh perspective of our lives and address problems with a new confidence. Once we sprout to the surface we can then begin to grow our spirit.

Each ceramic vessel in the collection narrates a significant point in my journey. The plant pot, titled Cultivating Care, illustrates a snapshot of my laundry room. It is full of houseplants that need tending, so getting into a routine was a necessity to keep them alive. Taking care of the plants made me address my own needs as a person, and that ambition helped me get into the patterns of taking care of myself. I started therapy and began facing all of the negative aspects of my life, resolving some and continuing to work on others. Through the decision to show myself love and care, instead of giving energy to doubts and insecurities, I had watered the seed of my soul.
Cascade to Confidence is representative of the moment when I felt an awakening in my heart. After years of sadness and hatred towards myself, I had finally chosen to challenge those intrusive thoughts. It was not easy, but with practice I found a refreshed sense of confidence. I hiked to Laurel Falls in Hampton, Tennessee and wore a two-piece bathing suit for the first time in my life. It was as if I had sprouted from underneath the soil and could finally see the world around me. The hard work I had been doing to transform my state of mind was working, and I could fully embrace the moment I was in. I knew I had committed to the right path and wanted to share this feeling.
The third sculpture, Communication Propagation, is a three tiered dual-function vessel. While the bottom and middle sections of the piece are vases in which plant cuttings are rooting, the top tier is a pot with soil and a plant. This plant is a permanent fixture of the piece, being a physical representation of the growth and progress I’ve personally made. This vase embodies the importance of empathy for each other and sharing our growth. Viewers are encouraged to keep a plant cutting from the middle and bottom vases as a way to begin their own restorative practices. Opening an honest dialogue with those around me and being sincere in my ambitions for a happier life are two of the most significant actions I’ve taken. It is important to share our stories because those who have also felt buried under their own emotions can see that there is a way to the surface. Through showing ourselves kindness and practicing love, we can learn how to bloom.

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Kalliope Yvonne is an emerging artist working in southern USA. She graduated from East Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art in 2018, where she focused on three-dimensional work. Kalliope makes sculptures and traditional vessels that express complicated human emotions. On her ceramics she designs sophisticated scenes and intricate surfaces that give each object a complex composition. Throughout her pieces one will see themes of duality, emotional reflection, and quirky morbidity.In her most recent work she has started to incorporate plants, both decoratively and literally, as a symbol of growth and change. With her art she creates spaces in which people can discuss convoluted emotions and empathize with each other. Her inspirations are, but not limited to, Lisa Clague, Beth Cavaner, Heesoo Lee, Junji Ito, Piet Mondrian, and Holly Whitaker. Find her ceramics and art videos on Tiktok: @KalliopeYvonneCeramics