My formal figurative work is rooted in Geometric Abstraction, which is evident in the loose Cubist approach I employ by segmenting the body into shapes. I use photographs by notable photographers such as, Lee Friedlander, Edward Weston and Klaus Kempert, as my source material. I look for interesting poses with limbs crossing and bodies twisting, shot from unexpected angles.
I begin by creating a maquette to work out the figure in 3D. Using a nuanced version of the slab technique, I throw shapes that relate to parts of the body in porcelain. The elements are then altered and joined with contrasting black slip, exposing the joins, creating a surface treatment that draws the viewer in. When I use white slip to hide the joins, a more fluid result is revealed. The technique relates to patternmaking, a skill I learned as a young girl sewing. Thrown parts allow for a softness and roundness, which places the figure somewhere between abstraction and representation, my own hybrid style. I strive to stay true to the image, but there is ample opportunity to infuse my own figural interpretation. Negative space and the silhouette created to define gesture is the essence of my figurative work.
- Jocelyn Braxton Armstrong