LEAP Finalist: Donna Flanery

Meet our March 2014 LEAP finalist, ceramic artist Donna Flanery! Donna’s playful pieces – perfect for springtime decor and gifts – will be for sale in the SCC Store through May 2014.

SCC: Tell us about your work.

My images emerge from the invented space I have painted on planes of cut out, soft clay slabs. The undulation and flexibility of the drawing plane takes two-dimensional images into a three-dimensional scene, reminiscent of pop-up books. 

Recurring animal and human characters form the suggestion of a narrative between pieces and within each individual piece. I employ storytelling techniques from children’s books and comic books which simplify and essentialize my images. The influence of these narrative forms add an element of dramatization to my pieces.

Because the viewer must mentally unwrap the image from my work while moving around them in space, the understanding of the image develops over time. Additional Information is slowly revealed as you peer between the planes and through holes cut to the inside of the space. Like a story the pieces cannot be understood all at once, but unlike a story, the narrative is read in a non-linear way.

With the inclusion of pottery forms, boxes, teapots, plates and cups, the objects claim their natural place in the viewer’s domestic life, where the extraordinary is waiting to be discovered.

SCC: Tell us about your training/education/special mentors.

University of Florida MFA 2013, University of Montana BFA 2005, and College of Southern Idaho AA 2003.  Special Mentors include Bill West and Linda Arbuckle.

SCC: Why are you drawn to ceramics?

Clay allows me to explore two dimensional imagery in three dimensions. Utilitarian pottery is an intimate way to view drawing and painting in the context of daily life.

SCC: What inspires you?

I am inspired by everyday activities which I track with a comic diary. People, animals and the places they inhabit.

SCC: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received as a new artist?

Live simply–if you don’t have a lot of financial complexity, you can spend more time making artwork. [And] set aside time to play–scheduled time for unstructured investigation.