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"Looking" works by Amy Sansbury Manning

Reception for the artist:
First Friday August 2nd, from 7-9
August 1-31

The colors and compositions of these ceramic wall pieces begin with cell phone pictures of built places such as parking lots, street corners, and construction sites. Some pieces incorporate industrial elements like power and water infrastructure. The geometry of streetlights, power lines, and articulated machinery flattens and dissects the sky and landscape. I see these objects and places as constituting the landscape, rather than an imposition on it. Beyond the formal appeal of urban forms and surfaces, I am attracted to these subjects because, though common, their presence is often overlooked and their function opaque. Elements of the snapshots are cropped and isolated to further defamiliarize the subject matter.

I work in ceramics because of the incredible variety of surfaces afforded by clay and glaze. Clay allows shaping, modeling, and carving the pieces. After a first firing, I build up layers of glazes, underglazes, ceramic stains, and oxides. Because it is literally glass, glaze reflects that our visual experience of the urban landscape is often mediated through glass: camera lenses, cell phone screens, and car windshields. The contrast between glossy and matte surfaces highlights the problem of pictorial depth because the glazed areas sit on top of the clay instead of sinking into the surface.

Amy Sansbury Manning lives and works in central Phoenix, Arizona. She exhibits locally and regionally. Past projects include cardboard machinery, mixed-media textiles, and a public art installation for the city of Scottsdale. In 2017, she received an Eric Fischl Vanguard Award. Her most recent works are primarily clay and glaze, with imagery drawn from industrial objects and public utilities in the urban landscape. She is a member of the eye lounge artist collective in Phoenix.