My artwork explores how memory shapes my concepts of home. Home is where I live: the people, objects, and places I am surrounded by and my state of mind. Home is supposed to be comfortable, supportive, and stable, but when the memories of home that define who I am are fallible, I am in a constant state of flux, searching for myself.
I use photographs from the past to illustrate my decorative ceramic objects with my memories of places, personal items, and people, and I alter them. By firing images of these memories onto my pieces, I make rooms and objects tangible; permanent yet ultimately inaccessible. I blur some figures with a running glaze, referring to both the imperfections in my memories and my ongoing search for self.
I use porcelain and Rococo imagery to reference decorative objects from the past. Both have a long history of representing social status and wealth, but in contemporary society can be seen as kitsch. These references create a sense of familiarity, as many of us were raised with objects like figurines, commemorative plates, and framed paintings.
I illustrate emotionally honest imagery that is both specific to me and relatable to others. I provide the viewer with these images and no explanation, inviting them to imagine their own narratives. Our identities emerge through the creation and retention of our autobiographical memories, and I draw attention to that through my work. By sifting through my memories, illustrating them, and altering them, I am exploring myself through my notions of home and memory.
– Sara E. Morales-Morgan, April 2016