Week 12 Interview (Artist): Piet Eppinga

Piet Eppinga:

One of this week’s exhibitions was located in The Merlino Gallery: A BFA ceramics show. The purpose of this show is to explore themes of humanity and the human experience. I was drawn towards this exhibit because of the sheer size of the sculptures and also because they depicted human-like figures with some unique and interesting features. Piet Eppinga opened up his exhibition at 11 sharp, and he seemed to have a great passion for his work. I quite enjoyed his interaction with spectators and he was generous enough to give a detailed analysis of each of his works, which are full of symbolism.

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This particular piece is tiltled, “Songharijaneszzchee Unman”, which is also a name for the woman depicted here. There is quite a bit of symbolism going on in this piece: for example, the breasts symbolize nourishment for the child but are depicted in a way that they are elongated and heavy looking. This is an emphasis on the joys and burdens of motherhood and its importance to humanity. The lower half of the artwork is the woman’s skirt, which is depicted with flaws and blemishes. The skirt is symbolic of feminine beauty, but here it is depicted in a way that shows stress and anguish. It is very representative of life: both a blessing and a curse. I believe the pot on her head is a urn, like a urn to hold a deceased person’s ashes. This is symbolic of the weight carried from past ancestors.

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This other art piece was quite interesting to me as the symbolism is more apparent. The artist made a statement that this piece does not dispute/criticize nor promote traditional Christian beliefs. It is simply making an observation about the current nature of the Christian church. You’ll notice that it is shaped like a tombstone. This is in reference to the declining membership in the Christian Churches (specifically in Europe). Jesus is depicted in the middle with the holes from his crucifixion and the cross. The crosses adjacent to him are the two other people that were crucified next to him. This art piece is kind of like an observation. Ancient Egyptian religions practically disappeared in practice over the course of 100 years, and it is interesting that in today’s time, we are also experiencing a shifting of religious beliefs- which could also indicate that humans are changing. I found this week’s exhibit to be very though provoking. I think that this is one of the most pleasing aspects of art: being able to read a message being transmitted through the use of clever symbolism.

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