I am not a minimalist.
I am a maximalist.
My pottery is not soothing Scandinavian simplicity found on Pinterest.
It is colour, pattern, swearwords, laughter, juicy fatness. It is about more experience, more learning, more fun, more risk, more femininity, more voice. Colour is my jam, with a side of more-shiny-gold.
But in the current climate of Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy minimalism I seem to be swimming against the popularist tide.
The thing is, I have tried. I have tried to have one idea, one brushstroke, one colour. I have pursued uniformity with fervour and discipline. I have disregarded my own voice as trashy, fickle, trivial, strange. And still the truth prevails.
Which is actually my point.
Regardless of my own judgement, truth remains undeniable. I spent many years practicing denial in my personal life, as an alcoholic, which nearly cost me my life. Artistic truth is clearly less fatal, but none-the-less important.
My customers have been integral in helping me see and value it. When it comes to spending their money with me, they choose the raucous, bold, and weird. And if they can’t find it, they specifically ask. It’s much easier for me to recognise the truth in their buying choices, than to recognise the truth as some vague concept in my mind.
We always want what we don’t have, but a truly defiant act is to want and accept our own truth (and the ease with which it comes) as something precious and valuable.
Global trade and the internet have not only homogenised cultural uniqueness; but also, I think, individual uniqueness. Ecologists know that species diversity is the foundation of stability in nature, and I reckon that’s true in human societies too.
We need to celebrate the outliers and weirdos, the non-conformists and crazy critters, and all those who dance with knowing the rich truth in their own soul. We need to celebrate ourselves.
So even though I’d quite like my pots to come out with a calm, Zen austerity, and fit neatly in to the minimalist trend, I guess they’re just not going to.
And I think I’m ok with that.
I’m off to the studio to add another layer of colour.