This exposition presents artistic research, part of an ongoing collaboration between Priska Falin and I. For some time, we have been developing an exploration of clay as a material that grounds our bodies and creates a connection to the surrounding environment. Working on this exposition was an opportunity to reflect closely on our work together since 2018, drawing together the personal experiences and explorations which have significantly shaped our research. We focus particularly on Sensorial Ground, an online workshop delivered in 2020 during the global pandemic as part of the British Ceramic Biennial’s National Summer School programme.
The exposition was published in the Journal for Artistic Research (JAR), in October 2022.
This exposition focuses on the exploration and development of Subtle Ground, a method that directs attention during and through making with clay, in the context of creative practices in ceramics. The method takes a non-conventional approach to making; it focuses on ‘being with’ the material instead of pursuing a conclusion in the creative process. The method directs the practitioner to follow aesthetic qualities in making understood from a pragmatist view of having an experience. This exposition focuses on the author’s collaborative work that has shaped the Subtle Ground method, particularly the workshop Sensorial Ground. In Subtle Ground, the idea of dwelling is emphasised offering a specific approach to making. The method consists of a series of exercises that direct attention towards subtle sense perception within the body. Through working with the Subtle Ground method, we suggest that it is possible to begin to understand the embodied dimension and how it influences creative practice. The Subtle Ground method has been built on the clay’s supportive qualities, bringing together sense perception and physicality, thus understanding the practice’s aesthetic qualities and connections to meditation.