Yuriy Ludov

The creative process is a type of alchemy, reflected in the transformative effect of fire on clay. Lengthy Anagama firings are microcosms of geological processes within the cauldrons of the Earth and Stars, processes that have lead to the emergence of life. Life’s twists and turns, the influences and habits collected throughout, make their way into the work, saturating it with personal meaning. As many individual struggles are universal, archetypal human experiences so, in a way, finished sculptures are multi-faceted symbols of the human condition.

I experience the creative process as surrender, acceptance, and reactive flow, much like the attitude toward living advertised in some spiritual traditions. This happens naturally for me in the studio. I become a medium for the transformation of primordial mud into form. I exist in the space between my finger tips, instinctively reacting to the possibilities clay, water, air, and gravity allow. Protean visions of the resulting form come and go, and the result is never entirely expected. After the collective efforts of firing, the form acquires its distinctive surface.

My aesthetic is inspired by the interplay between the geometric and the organic — the natural approximations of mathematically precise symmetries and patterns. One of the ideas that has emerged to frame my work is the arbitrariness of human life. I have come to believe that much of who we are is crystallized by random interactions among a spectrum of variables. The symmetries in my work vary by number of axes, from zero in a freeform structure to infinity in a circular pot. Spirals suggest an infinite unfolding and growth, and waves convey energy. These are recurring aesthetic themes for me, and they subtly guide my approach to and interpretation of my work.

The symmetries that denote digits by the number of axes they have are a commentary on Arbitrary Archetypes: the vast variety of associations people bring to abstract geometric shapes, shapes that stand alone and meaningless without the representational attributes we project onto them. These works have facilitated a reflective process of loosening some of these associations for me, and I hope they invite viewers to reflect on the arbitrariness of their associations.