Photo of L. N. Fowler by Ceramic Artist Paul Wood
L. N. Fowler by Ceramic Artist Paul Wood

Artwork: L. N. Fowler
Award: 2011 Valley of the Arts Award
Medium: found ceramic and glass objects, 22 x 42 x 28cm

Manningham Art Collection. Image courtesy the artist.

"I begin new work by gleaning op shops, ebay and second-hand shops for unwanted ceramic objects. These are piled into a kiln and fired. Their shape and glazes melt, warp and fuse together into new forms. I am interested that their previous existence in one’s everyday domestic life to their rejection as non-fashionable ‘clutter’ are given a new life and resurrected into small monuments to their past circumstances. Their new rather wilted form expresses the exhaustion of their previous domestic setting. L.N. Fowler is a re-produced Phrenology head lying on its side on a pile of platters. A glass bowl is melted over its head. The leaf imprint on the melted glass bowl becomes like a textile pattern on a cloth head scarf. Gone is the previous brittle and rigid state of the bowl. Now it is fluid and feels light like a piece of muslin cloth. Tucked inside the Phrenology head’s bust are two miniature figurines. In their earlier context they may have seemed innocent and a little banal. Perhaps they sat on a quiet mantel piece. In their new context there is something a little darker coming into play. Looking closely at these two figurines you notice that the male figure has been beheaded. The Fowlers head, previously used for science and now lying on its side on some platters and clothed in a beautiful scarf also alludes to a more sinister narrative. Perhaps a King or Queen has called for its head to be chopped off and served on a platter!" - Paul Wood