On a dialogue with clay

On a dialogue with clay

An interview with Ivica Vidrová

Editorial board

Ivica Vidrová (1943) graduated in 1969 at the ceramics and porcelain studio (prof. Otto Eckert) of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. She belongs to the circle of the most renowned Slovak artists who engaged themselves into clay and its artistic obstacles. The above and other topics were discussed in an interview with the Slovak ceramist.

„I do not divide and distinguish two kinds of art – applied and fine. I believe that an applied object may become an object with own space… I digested long time ago that ceramics was set apart from the fine arts. I have developed a dialogue with ceramics and like to design ceramic objects… I have resigned to indifference to ceramics, however, as a teacher, I seek to educate my students to become a self-confident generation that will not face such obstacles. Luckily enough, the ceramics has undergone slow, but steady change that started in the 1970s.“

An interesting part of her work is clay objects, particularly those created in the 1990s as well as small architectural objects with artistically-designed surface. She also creates figurative objects. The artist borrows inspiration from out-of-Europe cultures, particularly the art of the Near East. „Vases are a recurring theme of my work, I understand a vase is a clay figure with its height and volume, a body.“ Vidrová´s work is distinguished by porcelain, however, not its applied function, but arranging it into objects. „It influences free style creation and learns to feel space and volume. I believe it is important to alternate the two disciplines… The space, into an object is arranged, influences me a lot. It is a challenge I like to respond to. As far as my in situ works, I have attended a symposium in the village of Ružbachy with my colleagues from Israel and done the Habitants installation of innocent rabbits arranged into a dangerously looking circle. I did my last year´s works in Houston, Texas. It is a collection of paintings and vases inspired by the recent catastrophic Katrina hurricane in the U.S.A.

Ivica Vidrová and her students are frequent participants of ceramic symposiums around the world. „I have contacts allowing me to do exchange students programs and we have students in the western countries as well as Turkey, a country with rich history, culture and traditional techniques… Our one and only symposium site in the village of Kalinovo is a location with sensational atmosphere our foreign guests appreciate.“

I. Vidrová has occupied the position of the head of ceramics studio at the ceramics department of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design since 1997. She has introduced a simple mug-to-sculpture concept, embracing the entire range of contemporary ceramic art. As much as one generation of artists have been educated at the ceramics studio so far. I. Vidrová has been encouraging her students to see new opportunities, new world and welcomes to have foreign students in exchange.

I. Vidrová and curator Štefan Oriško organise an extensive exhibition of the AFAD ceramics studio in the town of Kremnica, the purpose of which is to introduce a young generation pursuing new approaches and new perspectives. Avant-garde. The exhibition opens on 3rd October.

What is the nature of contemporary ceramics? According to I. Vidrová, the ceramics prioritises an absolutely original technical research made by an author. All is permitted and what was forbidden in craft is open now. Capturing mistakes, living clay and process. Final product may be from unfired or broken fired clay.