Leigh Davis

Leigh Davis
BFA Ceramics

Huichol Dragon & Prayers for the Harvest
Clay, acrylic paint, rhinestones, bronze, beads, copper wire
20" x 24" x 7"; 17" x 9" x 6"

Through my previous works, I explored the topic of mythological creatures which are often prevalent in traditional artworks and tried my hand at incorporating more mixed media into my ceramic work. For my current collection I am continuing to explore that subject matter and process, while including new skills I have gained through my supplemental art classes such as painting and metals casting. Overall the main goal of my artwork is simply to make the world a bit more beautiful. I aim to delight the eye and lift the spirits of all those I share this traumatic world with through art that may not fit into the typical construct of beauty, but is beautiful none the less.

This collection is the culmination of the little hints my mind subconsciously dropped throughout my life about who I was meant to be in the future. I’ve picked up these pieces and realized that I’ve always had a passion for ornately detailed folk art which I first became exposed to at a young age through my grandmother whose artwork takes inspiration from Native American tribes in the southwest region of the US where she lives. I grew up drawing mandalas in the margins of my papers during classes and learned to bead weave maze-like patterns, spending hours perfecting my craft. In college I became particularly interested in the intricacy and often natural aspect of foreign artwork where indigenous artists will often use plants and other natural materials available to them through visiting various international art shows. This led to me to begin collecting others’ works and watching documentaries on traditional art like that of the potato clay sculptors in Peru. Through the art shows I would meet artists who I found would often not have the acknowledgment that I believed they deserved for the beauty of their often extremely delicately detailed artwork as it may be seen as more of a craft as opposed to fine art, which in recent years has taken on more of a negative connotation. I aim to take inspiration from these so called “crafts” and evolve them into what can be considered modern fine art with an aim to force the viewer to question the difference between traditional craft and the fine art highly valued today and hopefully lead the viewer to realize the high value that I myself see in traditional works. I hope that as my viewer gets lost in my labyrinthine patterns and rich colors, an interest will be sparked to find out where my influences lie and will lead the viewer on a journey of acknowledgment for other cultural works as I would like people to view beauty through my own eyes and discover for themselves the joy that I’ve found in observing delicate detailed artwork such as this.

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Leigh Davis