artist ruan hoffmann spent two months at the clay studio as a guest artist in residence, creating his new series of ceramic works.
as is often the case with artists on residencies, there is a tendency to explore the different context and milieu while still expressing their inherent styles; the interaction with the facilitators also generally allow for experimentation with different techniques.
the result of such residencies are often surprising and a rewarding departure from permanent studio work, as in the case of hoffman who indulges in these opportunities to create bodies of work with refreshing views, after all ‘the eye must travel’ as diana vreeland said.
hoffmann’s new work still contains his signature personal hand painted anecdotes combined with more vivid glazes and transfers; although best known for his painted plates, the new work however for the most part consists of vases; borne from classic shapes and accident, hand built and quite sizeable, these become the canvas for his decorative commentary while the graphic elements which pervade most of his work is strengthened by the different scale he worked in.
a series of masks and self portrait tiles was created during this time as well as a triptych of relief tiles with naive floral embellishments.
hoffmann’s particular brand of artistic schizophrenia is brought again to the surface by interchanging unexpected profanity and profoundness. his compulsion to express time and place (incorporating dates and places) is as much a distinct indication of his feeling of being geographically dislocated as it is of his need for a cultural sense of belonging, a possible aftereffect of colonial misplacement; something enforced by his residencies across the world and acknowledged by himself as a ‘nomadic artist’.
but however far and wide his travels might seem, his true style remains constant and unwavering; poised on the brink of bloomsbury but thoroughly influenced by eastern traditions.