Primitivistic, essential and elemental; the sculptures of Stephanie Quayle link man to nature, animal to human, through the organic material of clay itself.
Working on a farm, the relationship that lies between beast, both domestic and wild, and human is of central concern; “I’m interested in how much we align or distance ourselves from them – how they reflect, question and return our gaze. How they see into our souls and connect us to the natural world and force of nature inherent within.”
The process of sculpting each creature takes on a quasi-spiritual aspect in Quayle’s practice, resulting from a long process of sketching in front of her animal subject, and formed through layering up clay in a rapid process. “I want the fastest most direct, most subconscious way to work, vigorous and direct, the clay becomes inhabited. As old as mankind and coming directly from the ground, the clay seems to retain its primitive sense of earth, soil, mud and connection to the land.” Rendered at life scale, their presence in the gallery space is muscular and impressive, reanimating a sense of shared connection between living matter, an extra lingual sensation that has been lost in the progressive severing of the link between ourselves and nature rendered through technological process and the prevalence of the urban environment.
© Natasha Hoare, 2015