About this work
I am an artist and designer recently transplanted to the great city of Philadelphia. I have a background in sculpture and made a professional life in design, but I didn’t work with clay until I got here and then it immediately felt like home. Its plasticity, its history as a medium for story telling, commemoration and ritual, and its ability to shape-shift and disguise itself as other materials all make it ideal for recreating the taxonomies of flora and fauna and all the stray bits and pieces of my new life here. I love that this humble material can document my life from this point going forward, connecting me to streams of artifact, making and transformation across time and space, all within a robust community of potters and ceramists.
Traveling in Egypt in 2010, I felt a deep connection to the images and objects in the ancient tombs with their lively conception of an afterlife. I want my work to convey the strange optimism and imagination of those objects, their charged conjuring, while reflecting on my own substance and place in life, nature and the cosmos. Like the Egyptians, I am hedging my bets for the future, hoping that when it comes time to make that journey, I’ll have created enough matchbooks and bananas to negotiate safe passage.
A bit of bio
I was born in France and grew up straddling the US and France. I studied history and writing as an undergrad at Northwestern University (’86), then did an MFA in sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (’90) where I remained for many years, making and showing mostly installation work. When I moved to the bay area in 1994 as a newlywed, I abandoned art practice altogether to work as a graphic designer. I enjoyed visual problem solving for non-profit organizations (in print and the nascent internet,) and I wore many hats, including illustration, photography and paper-engineering. World Upside Down pop-up cards and mechanical toys came out of a prolonged residency in Mexico City and were a way to combine various creative strands, while also creating a portable livelihood as I moved around a lot, living in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Boston.
Moving to Philadelphia and discovering clay made me want to make sculpture again. I feel very lucky to live near the Fleisher Art Memorial and the new Clay Studio where I studied with Daniel Teran, Nate Willever and Hiroe Hanazono. I’ve been a member of both open studios and recently joined the Associate Artist program at the Clay Studio.
Please think of this site as a dig. If anything, I hope you will find the work humorous.
If you’d like to get in touch, here’s a preferred email: contact (at) worldupsidedown (dot) com
You can also reach me via social media under my name, though I don’t check it that often.