La ceramista Pálma Babos (Nagykanitza, Hongria, 1961) va guanyar la VII Biennal de Ceràmica del Vendrell, l’hivern passat li vaig fer una entrevista que crec us pot interessar. Divendres passat vaig poder saludar Pálma en el lliurament dels premis i em va recordar l’entrevista, amb un “uff, em vas fer pensar molt en el meu treball”.
1. What were your main influences ?
I am a person who tends to build from the inside out. I do not think I would be able to recall pictures or important influences that would directly point to my statues. Just like lyric poetry my works are trying to be born, come outside from their hiding, regardless of their future, whether they will find a place for themselves, whether they will be understood.
I grew up in an artistic family, in a very inspiring personal environment embraced by the encouragement and understanding of my father and mother. I think they trusted me before I trusted myself.
Porcellain is a perfect medium for me to express my ideas. I would compare the creation of porcellain objects to the birth of a sonnett with its strict rules and clear-cut boundaries.
2. What do you think are your sources of inspiration ?
The age we live in inspires me. I react to it by my work and confront it with ourselves. I place a mirror in front of us. The towers symbolize the consumer society of the 21st century.
My porcelain sculptures evoke the cities of the 21st century, pulsating with relationships of singles and couples who inhabit them. Buildings become humans as they act, crumble and collapse, turn aside, fall down gently and softly; not so much as dying, rather just giving in to some unavoidable force. Among the towers transcending into humans we cannot but recognise the parallels with human society.
This content possibility is what especially intrigues me in „The City” nowadays.
3. Experimentation is one of the foundations of your work, how do you decide which line to follow?
My work is an on-going dialogue with the matter. Experimentation is my working utensil, in other words, I can realize my plans through experimentation. Experimentation becomes part of my sculptures. It does not mean that I have to make a decision between two alternatives. I work together with the coincidence created by the experiment, and. buid it into my object. I plan my sculptures in general, but because there is a great element of coincidence to work with I never know exactly what will emerge from the fire. I and coincidence create the sculpture together. Because I have not formulated an accurate vision in my mind about the sculpture, my expectations are not exact either.
The experiment consists of my decision about what area and how much of it I allow coincidence in the creative process. My decision is the conscious use of coincidence.
4. Is the color range -white– using accidental or deliberate? Does it mean anything special?
Choosing colour is a completely conscious step. Although the matter I use is white porcellain and yet my works abound in colour. The most diverse shades of gray ranging from white to black are created by the light that touches them. When my structures encounter light, their surfaces and edges gain colours that emphasize the structure.
The direct associations induced by colours are not included into the interpretation of the sculptures. There is more free space for the viewer to reach their own understanding.
An example is my series, the ’Smokey Tower.’ It is a series of cities built from brownish grey structures. The colour gave a very direct meaning to the objects and thus it limited its meaning. I decided not to continue along that road.
Another example: The title of my latest work is Loneliness. I painted over the glaze with decoration technique. I further emphasized the structural elements by painting and pulled back its mass toward the foundation by colouring.
5. Your work explores the relationship among painting, sculpture and installation. How does your work –not only ceramic– is going on in the coming years?
I have recently started to work in two dimensions. I create porcellain pictures.
I made my installation called ”The Crowd” for an exhibition. I placed over one hundred individually desgned characters, both singles and couples very tightly on a small surface. They lost their individual features, lost their own faces. They became a unified mass.