Class of 2023 • Ceramics

Ian Morrison

Ian Morrison
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)


Graduation Year
Class of 2023


My work is concerned with notions of identity, abstraction and expression. I’m interested in creating work that is non-utilitarian and is instead more focused on sculptural aesthetic ceramics that uses shape and surface as an expressive quality and an exploration of the haptic and tactile nature of clay. I’ve likewise engaged with David Hume’s bundle theory that elaborates on how we see ourselves and our tendencies to see ourselves the same way were we years ago. I’m interested in examining how I see myself and my surroundings as I integrate both into my work. The connection between making and the finished piece has intrigued me as I believe that ceramic holds an innate learning quality that can focus and offer alternative ways of seeing ourselves. I’ve focused largely this year on work that has a varied surface quality and I’m looking to find a further element of surface treatment in the way my work can be glazed such as using crystalline glazes, oil spot glazes and crawl glazes. An element of ceramics that I’ve been inspired by aswell is it’s impermanence and mortality. Abstract art in any media allows the revelation of that what you think isn’t all, that limits exists beyond your knowledge. My works seeks to engage with a public dialogue and to present something that causes a public discourse of what they see and how it affects them. I’m also engaging with ideas of self-cultivation which is the development of a person's mind or capacities through their own effort. I’m interested in the coordination between mind and body and how work can be developed in an antagonistic manner. ‘Tonnta criostalaithe’ chronicles the relations of the self and its own surroundings. Inspired by the finite beauty and fleeting nature of the coastal shingle bay of Killiney, tonnta criostalaithe locates the self as existing within a repetitious but ever-changing locus. In allowing the transcendental nature of thalassic waves to echo as they break on the rocks, the threshold of intangible transient serenity exists. To understand the coexistence of the self and its surroundings, the Confucian idea of self-cultivation was examined. Self Cultivation is understood as the development of one’s mind or capacities through one’s own efforts. Ideals of moral perfectibility and the continual development of oneself in body and mind lead towards an ideal state of being. Tonnta criostalaithe presents the reflections of a desired harmonious coexistence of self and surrounding. Large-scale and a smaller series of ceramic work reveals the physical and metaphorical desires for elusive perfection.
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