The Vegetables Series: artist's statement below

Island Promise
Gingerly Wading Toward Progress 2
Tea with the Queen
private collection
Gingerly Wading Toward Progress 3
private collection
Turban Squash teapot
private collection
Scouting for Supper

Food for Thought

The series of work is the result of my fascination with the whimsical qualities of nature, in this case vegetable forms. I am not interested in recreating the exact likeness of any vegetable, but rather in appropriating their shapes and qualities as a springboard for creating visually unique art objects that allude to the functional vessel.

This idea is not new; after all cave men found gourd forms useful for containing food and drink. And why not; when these shapes are Nature’s way of containing the seeds for self-perpetuation.

The particular vegetables used in the series were found by haunting the local grocery stores, wholesale markets and various gardens and fields. Each shape was chosen for its unique whimsical quality, gesture and presence. Original molds were made by me from the actual vegetables. The resulting forms, along with other thrown and hand built elements, were used to produce the individual pieces. The free flowing hand painted decoration in vibrant colored glazes and metallic gold luster reminiscent of Oriental, Egyptian, and Southwester patters and designs are used in an unexpected contrast to the organic forms.

I feel that the challenge of the Artist is to take the common and thru creative vision and process, breathe new life into them. I hope that exposure to this work prompts a more sensitive look at the world around us. Such things as vegetables are not just food, but food for thought, use, and enjoyment.

- Randy Au