DETAIL: Toots ZYNSKY 'Pennellata' 2004, 'Filet de Verre' fused and thermoformed colour glass threads
Yo AKIYAMA | Metavoid 5

Shimonoseki Japan 1953
Metavoid 5 2004
stoneware, slip
thrown, hand-built, torches, reduction-fired to 1250 deg c
52.0 (h) x 56.0 (w) x 90.0 (d) cm
Lent by Yo Akiyama.
Photographer: Yo Akiyama

An intense engagement with the physicality of clay and fire characterises Yo Akiyama’s Metavoid series of large ceramic works. Each begins with a wheel-thrown form, the first of Akiyama’s many manipulations of the clay, which include cutting, folding, tearing and firing the partially dried surface to accelerate natural processes, such as fissuring and cracking. Surfaces treated with vinegar and iron filings become earth brown, gaining a visual density that further obliterates any sense of the artificial. Each process is a microcosm of the primordial geological forces that shape the earth’s fragile skin of rock and clay, a surface that appears stable, but which we live with in the knowledge that it can be shattered in an instant by violent natural forces as much as by human intervention. The visual and physical tension of Akiyama’s tightly sprung works encapsulates this latent performance of natural materials, taking us on a journey to the heart of ancient matter.

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