Life is a process of collection. As humans, our existences are mired in the possessions we surround ourselves with. Material things are coveted, admired, worn out, and eventually cast away as we outgrow and replace them. Second-hand stores are like never-ending halfway houses for these forgotten objects; these spaces act as reminders, exhibiting the thousands of tangible memories we have left behind.
Plastic, mass-produced children’s toys are particularly abundant in this context. They populate our youthful experiences, sometimes extravagantly, and yet their time in use is fleeting. These playthings act as pared-down precursors to our adult trappings, and as such, are discarded in accordance with the passage of time. As they age, these often-disposable objects become functionally useless, but emotionally powerful—a strange parallel that echoes childhood itself.
As reinventions of the items that surround childhood, the work I make endeavours to study the physical and psychological value that lingers in things we no longer need. Porcelain is an eager material for this rebirth: it is both precious and common, simultaneously pedestrian and extraordinary. It holds the capacity to impersonate the furrow of tender flesh, while also masquerading as inflexible manufactured acrylic. The process of casting mundane objects in this material allows me to manipulate them, and to imagine what changes age would have wreaked on their forms. Manifested in everlasting ceramic, the sculptures I create ask about the value we find in our possessions, and act as ghostly signifiers for that which we have left behind.
Jocelyn Reid is a ceramic and mixed media artist from Calgary, Alberta. Reid received her Bachelors Degree with Distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2013, and continued on to participate in multiple international residency programs and exhibit her work throughout North America. In 2015, Reid received the Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ prestigious Queens Golden Jubilee Scholarship for Visual Arts, allowing her to travel to Europe, where she will be an Artist in Residence at the International Ceramic Research Centre in Skælskør, Denmark. Currently, Reid lives and works in Calgary.