Essay – Immigrant Artists

Wheel-thrown stoneware, sculpted in high relief

“Envelop” by Marisa Goudie

I was personally very moved and impressed with Marisa Goudie’s ceramic art piece titled Envelop. Looking at it gave me a kind of comfort and security which any immigrant is looking for in a new place.

A circle may be a metaphor or a graphic representation of something which is complete. Within the boundaries of the circle, one could see the different and separate efforts that were made in achieving the full form of the circle. This ceramic work of Marisa Goudie seems to depict a portrait of life in which the various layers are the representations of the many efforts one must make to achieve a state of repose which can only be found when one negotiates situations that are unexpected but are real and intertwined and divergent. When all our efforts through trial and error come together, they envelope us with a sense of comfort. The artist masterfully shows these like an enveloping robe, both stylish and sophisticated.

The artist’s technique reminds us of pottery, but how can this be thrown on a potter’s wheel? Yet the edges and curves of the garment are so smooth and easy. The folds tuck into each other and although each fold is a separate piece, they seem to be continuous. All the individual efforts that we make in living a life are separate but when all is done, they appear like a complete whole.

The ceramic has two colors the outer black circle and the monochrome interior. Life and living may have a thousand different colors but when they all come together, one sees a unity which is best shown by a single color.

I would like to add her statement which reveals her approach to her work ““Each stoneware vessel is a canvas for the experiences of life’s ever-shifting tapestry to converge. In combining the familiar with the unexpected, I explore how expectation and reality intertwine and diverge”.

Marisa Goudie is a ceramic artist with a diverse Chinese and English heritage that inform and enrich her artistic journey. Goudie now calls the vibrant and creatively charged landscapes of California home.

“Each stoneware vessel is a canvas for the experiences of life’s ever-shifting tapestry to converge. In combining the familiar with the unexpected, I explore how expectation and reality intertwine and diverge”.

— Salma Arastu