Susan Nemeth’s ceramics are influenced by her fascination with signs of fragility and individuality in the handmade object. Her work often references Meissen and Sèvres pottery, as well as plants and the human body.
Having received her MA from the Royal College of Art in 2012, Nemeth continues to be captivated by the interaction between porcelain and the imperfect human touch. Though her work is inspired by the pottery of Meissen and Sèvres, she endeavours to subvert their perfection by restoring the mark of the maker. This is achieved through an arduous process of making and destroying which highlights the object’s vulnerability and mirrors the cycle of decay and renewal.
Nemeth creates a bare, essential caricature of an object via rapid sketching in order to infuse silhouettes with a sense of animation and anthropomorphism. This freedom is then translated into pottery sculptures wherein the material is built, pushed, squeezed, torn and repaired. Selected for its paradoxical qualities of fragility and strength, the porcelain’s sensitivity and movement during firing compliment Nemeth’s humanising effect. Digitally printed ceramic transfers and layers of coloured, transparent slips are painted to form a skin-like membrane, which are paired with traditional glaze and gold leaf.
The idea of pots as relics, wombs and containers is integral to Nemeth’s work. The opening of a piece may resemble the sore flush of a wound or the lure of an orifice; the paunch of a belly swollen with imaginary contents is often held precariously above a slender stem. Nemeth’s artistry honours the beauty and raw crudeness of the fragile, imperfect form.
Susan Nemeth lives and works in London. Her art has appeared in exhibitions across Europe, the U.S. and Asia.