Sums and Parts
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As a person approaching an art project from a biology background, I often feel that my ideas are influenced either consciously or unconsciously by the sort of information I have collected over the years. An aspect of biology that has always interested me is the way we use almost proverbial phrases to describe nature, and my brain seems to retain these sayings long after I have forgotten the technical details. They appeal to me, I think, because they seem to have implications that extend beyond biology toward something that is both simple and truthful. The phrase that became a basis for this project is this: a living thing is more than just a sum of individual parts. It is a vague attempt to describe the hard-to-articulate quality that exists in things that are alive, and I prefer it to more complex explanations of life because there is truth in its simplicity. The parts of an organism fit together and interact in a system of precision and harmony that can best be described as "more". Life is simply the quality that makes something more than just pieces put together. My project came to be about a search for this sense of something more in my work. I have made enough mediocre work to know that ceramic pieces can easily be just assemblages of parts, and I wanted my project to reach beyond that. I wanted to create forms made up of parts that fit together and harmonized in such a way that the form as a whole would acquire some quality-a quality that I also find difficult to articulate - that would be in some way more. My work is an effort to achieve that quality.