AMI AYARS HARRINGTON
I am fascinated with the exploration of the planet and what it is still hiding from us. As a child I wanted to be a paleontologist and dig up the dirt and rocks to uncover what lay hidden beneath my feet. As an adult I am still mystified by the unknown crevices of our shared planet. Earth is a vast and varied place full of wonder. My work aims to capture that sense of exploration and discovery. I make ‘creatures’ and other forms to compose them in make-believe environments. I want to share these little worlds with my viewers in a way that makes them inquisitive and provokes them to create fresh, alternate realities for which these objects can exist within.
People are continuously trying to figure themselves out; who they are, what they are, where they belong, etc. They are attempting to fill what they perceive to be their specific place and roll on this earth. Creating these objects as creatures and fabricating their supposed habitats is my own way of coping with the overwhelming sense of how small we humans actually are compared to the grand scale of the Earth. We will never know the full extent of the planet and it’s inhabitants. That idea is where my inspiration lies.
Clay is a material that I've always been attracted to. It is of the earth. In this regard, it is the perfect material to use in my work. The finished clay pieces reflect the earth’s voice and create their own working dialog within these fabricated environments. My other medium of choice is photography. I am drawn towards photography’s innate the ability to record exactly what it sees in front of it’s lens. Yet, it is the camera’s fabled ability to perceive the unknown that really captures the sense of wonder in my documentation style of work.
As for my pottery, I like to think of each pot as a gateway into another realm or dimension. In the sense that when the object is held, users can be transported to a different state of being or experience a heightened awareness of the current moment such as taking their first sip of a smooth, dark and sultry coffee after just waking up or sitting down to relish the splendor and delicacy of a fine tea, wine or scotch, after a long strenuous day. What sort of realities and veins of thought do you find hidden inside your drinking vessel? Functional objects such as these pots are a treat for the senses. They are there to be fondled by fingers, licked by the tongue, kissed by the lips, oggled by the eyes, smelled by the nose of whatever it is they hold inside their bellies. Only your lover has those privileges...until now. Take a deep centering breath, let go of your inhibitions, just be. May these pots unlock a new passion for the small intimate moments that you create with the objects around you.
I received my Bachelors of Fine Art in Ceramics from the University of Kansas in 2011. I also hold minors in French and Art History. I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City and now live in the East Crossroads.
I currently curate and manage a gallery - Plenum Space - and work as an assistant to and part-time manager of Rif Raf Giraffe. I occasionally moonlight as a free-lance photographer, also. In the past, I have worked at EPIC Clay Studio as their Studio Manager, Technician, and was their first Artist-in-Residence. I have shown work at various local venues around the Kansas City Area, as well as nationally, such as the Missoula Art Museum in Montana.
My latest work focuses on large and small-scale organic forms that relate non-directly to the human figure and other organisms in the natural world. I use clay as my main medium and then photograph these pieces in natural settings with a fantastical edge to create fresh, alternate realities where these creatures may exist.
In my spare time I like to ride my bike, indulge in delicious beverages and, of course, hang out with my wonderful husband who doubles as a crazy flying giraffe... !