We should be sensitive to the thread of silence from which the tissue of speech is woven.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty


My work tries to give form to something that was never tangible in the first place. I needed a material that would allow me to create a variety of forms in order to give a shape to the subjects I explore. Ceramics is the material of choice for me as its fluidity and flexibility give me the freedom I need. In my recent work, I have been looking at the themes of displacement and loss of continuity with one's individual and collective past.  

My personal legacy and current life make me particularly sensitive to untold stories, our invisible internal negotiations with emotions and personal history that make us who we are. Movement and separation, by choice or necessity, have been a recurring trait in my family. Currently living abroad myself, I'm often exposed to the challenges to connect with a place, a language and a culture I wasn’t born into. 

I use clay as a tool to examine how we respond to emotional experiences such as memories, loss and sense of belonging. In response to being interested in the invisible and untold, I am fascinated by objects or any tangible marks that bear the traces of existence and define our human identities. I am drawn into the beauty of the details, the remnants of something gone, anything that can be used to understand the silence and its many meanings.

My approach to making is experimental, I love bric-à-brac, an organised mess, I surround myself with a selection of objects, pieces I make and intentionally break into small parts to reuse them, small pots I made on the wheel and glazed with bright colours, found objects, tin cans, sand, metal. Those fragments, varied objects, this messy lively collection of things constitute the vocabulary I use to create series of abstracts sculptures. I pick them up, mix them with wet clay, stain, grog and other organic components. I knead, mix, sieve, pour, shape…and from all that combinations, emerge odd intriguing objects looking more like that they have been found than made.

The final pieces, fusing familiar details with unexpected elements, draw the viewer in a dialogue on loss, separation and intimate chaos.






All images copyright Anne-Laure Cano.

Anne-Laure Cano - ceramics - website.JPG