Rafa Perez -shaped by volcanic heat: material tension

Maybe this is just a side effect of the cold rain hitting my windows, but I really appreciate the way fire appears to have left artifacts of itself behind in the finished products. It’s an obvious recipe, clay and fire, but it’s so plainly seen on these works. Many of the forms have tissue-thin layers, shearing apart like shalestone. Others show the glaze splitting and cracking. I’m reminded of the way paper burns, the way it flakes apart before finally turning into ash. The glaze looks like paint still clinging to the walls of a burned house. Heat is so present in these works. It’s a wonder they aren’t steaming, even as they sit in the gallery. Rafa Perez – Copyright © 2016 C-File

Perez`s work is certainly distinguishable, his ceramic sculpture, material use, and techniques are rather unorthodox with regards to traditional ceramics, yet, this is what undeniably makes his sculptures so unique. Perez’s sculpture looks as if they have been dug/pulled from the ground. The layers within the body are reminiscent of the layers of sedimentary rock that we see on geologic television documentaries or we tend to see at the beach or within traditional seascape paintings.An emphasis on material tension and exploration is incredibly apparent.

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Perez’s sculptures remind me of the work of Ewan Henderson, perhaps this is due to the irregular textural qualities of their work and naturally occurring phenomena both artists are interested in, thus tend to communicate. Unlike Henderson, the selected sculptures of Perez seem to project an absence of colour, a coldness; which is interesting yet ironic due to the high firing process the sculptures are exposed to. The combination of earthenware and porcelain clay body’s fracture, melt and become one, hosting and projecting the process they have undergone, giving emphasis to the unstable nature of ceramics that many people do not experience.

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