The purpose of my work is to amaze people about the possibilities of ceramics as an art form, which-in my humble opinion- has been in the shadow of classic art forms far too long. Ceramics doesn’t just stands for functional objects, such as the brick or the “handmade-industrial” dinner plate. It offers a wide variety of creative opportunities. I believe the reason for this, is the fact that ceramics is so widely represented in our society we don’t reflect enough on this art form.
As a studio potter/ceramist, the throwing remains important. Without denying the traditional applications, I attempt – in terms of design and visual language – to take it a step further. Pots are thrown, deformed, assembled and “disappear” as parts of a autonomous sculpture which interacts with man and its surroundings. The latest works are an indication, installation art is the next step. By adding other materials - such as electronic wiring – to the ceramic assemblages, countless new narrative possibilities arise. The relationship between man and technology is a current theme, which I try to approach with a sense of humor.
The pot or sculpture becomes – in the finishing phase – carrier of an own and unique visual language, developed over the years. The patterns refer to the contemporary image culture or become a geometric abstract/narrative whole. The fascination for recent technological developments plays a major role in recent work and result in interpreting – for example – the visual language of the arcade games during the 80’s, steam engines or patterns found on circuit boards.
Manu Van Steenbergen - 2020