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

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

I use clay and ceramics as a tool to examine how we respond to emotional experiences such as memories, loss and sense of belonging. These themes resonate with me as they relate to my own personal experiences. 

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. My personal legacy and current life make me particularly sensitive to untold stories and the invisible internal negotiations with emotions or stories that make us who we are.

Works from artists such as Anselm Kiefer explores memory in his work Walhalla and dancer/choreographer Akram Khan examines the subject of identity in his works Desh and Sacred Monsters. These are sources of inspiration for me that have led me to examine those same themes and influenced the current direction of exploration. 

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 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 emotions.  Ceramics based materials (clay and concrete), are the materials of choice for me as their fluidity and flexibility give me the freedom I need. My pieces draw the viewer in through a combination of familiar details with unexpected elements.

My aim is to present the viewer with a work that has a physical presence as much as an emotional resonance.

Having previously trained within photography and film, I draw on time, space and narrative as key elements that feed into the act of making. These elements combined with my research and a thinking through making process work together until I reach a body of work that carries an intriguing narrative and questions our emotional experiences




All images copyright Anne-Laure Cano.

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