HUMAN ≈ NATURE Interview

World’s Fair Gallery Interviews Amanda Soule 

Amanda Soule’s Dot Cup waiting to be filled

World’s Fair Gallery (WFG): Where did you come from? 

Amanda Soule (AS): I grew up in Massachusetts. I am now living between Rhode Island and a farm in Western Mass. I work on the farm most weekends and I come back to Providence to work in the studio. I like living in this rural place, but I feel pretty weird about being so far away from the studio. 

WFG: When did you start throwing pots? 

AS: I’ve been working with clay since I was a teenager. My ceramics practice started as pure enjoyment. In terms of my formal training, I went to Bennington for Ceramics and I graduated in 2006. 

WFG: What inspires you to make new work? 

AS: On a personal level, I’ve found that there’s a sense of comfort and joy to be found in nourishing oneself from a handmade, lasting vessel. The whole process gives way to an openness and thoughtfulness of living. The relationship to the object itself becomes ritual – a cherished and shared experience that inspires connection: to oneself, one’s community, between human and nature, between you and you, between me and you. It is my hope that my cups will nurture such awareness and reflection in our day-to-day routines. It’s all about taking care of ourselves, the environment and each other. 

WFG: What is it about human nature that fueled your work for this show?   

AS: Human Nature is often cited as an excuse for human weakness, fallibility, and fragility. But even beyond the fact that fragility is *not* weakness, it is also in our Human Nature to be cooperative, collaborative, creative, imaginative, empathetic, curious, visionary, and interconnected. We are complicated [and often contradictory] creatures, just beginning to open our eyes to see ourselves and the Universe we inhabit. And it looks to me like it’s all the same thing. Everything you see is you, and has been this whole time.

Amanda Soule’s Crystal Bottom Cup

WFG: Love that. It’s true, we are certainly part of the universe and if we’re really being honest, there’s no such thing as objectivity. Speaking of objects, Do you have a name for your new cups? 

AS: I call my classic cup form a ‘crystal bottom cup’ – they are wheel-generated vessels that are meant to be enjoyed in a variety of ways by both the user and their companions. I also have a new collection of tiny dotted cups and the new form I’m working on is sort of a goblet – a cup balancing on an orb. My friend/studiomate Melissa and I have been calling them “orblets.” 

Amanda absorbing sunlight in the woods

Amanda Soule’s work will be featured in World Fair Gallery’s upcoming show, HUMAN ≈ NATURE, alongside new paintings and frescoes by Providence-based artist Cara Blaine. The Show opens on April 3rd and runs through June 21st. 

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