The phrase “ebb and flow” is defined as a recurrent or rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth. It is often used to evoke a sense of calm by suggesting that lows will be followed by highs in an endless and certain course. This usage, however, belies the fact that ebbing and flowing also describes the often fierce dynamism and unpredictability of natural and emotional reality.
Addressing the violence of separation, the practice of keeping memories and the invasive effects of colonialism, Pritika Chowdhry, Chotsani Elaine Dean and Courtney M. Leonard contemplate the past, the present and possible futures in their large scale, ceramic-based installation works. The individual works poetically contemplate the 1947 partition of India, the manual and psychological labor of enslaved and free African Americans and the changed environments and indigenous lifeways brought on by outside occupation and settlement.
Crossing boundaries of traditional studio ceramics, sculpture, and conceptual and political art, the Ebb/Flow multimedia installations deepen access to and interrogate sites of historical and cultural upheaval. In addition, they add to the material and subject diversity of the Weisman’s notable ceramics and American art collections. As such, the Weisman proudly presents these works to evoke reflection on and discussion of some of the most important and resounding issues of our time.
Image credits (L to R): Courtney M. Leonard, Breach Logbook 22: Cull (detail), installation view, 2022. Ceramic, paint, and video. Weisman Art Museum commission.; Pritika Chowdhry, Silent Waters (detail), 2009. Ceramic, wax, and sound. 2015.2.1.1-2015.2.1.101; Chotsani Elaine Dean, Comptoir de commerce: saadje, navigeren, waarde, 2022. Ceramic, resin, and seeds. Lent by the artist.