We are proud to introduce our 2 January/February Short-term Interdisciplinary Resident Artists Danni O’Brien and Luna María Oak:
Danni O’Brien is a queer womyn maker and art educator currently based in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work is rooted in play, collecting, and constructing and informed by an education in assemblage sculpture, fiber arts, and ceramics. She marries construction and wood working skills with traditionally feminized and domesticated systems such as stitching, beading, and rug making to compose her dually hard and soft objects. Danni has recently been awarded artist residencies at The Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), PLOP (London, UK), The Maple Terrace (Brooklyn, NY), Art Farm (Marquette, NE) and Proyecto Ace (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Her work has been shown at School 33 (Baltimore, MD), Hillyer Art Space (Washington D.C.), Arlington Art Center (Arlington, VA), Little Berlin (Philadelphia, PA), and Terrault (Baltimore, MD), and published in Architectural Digest, ArtMaze, and Hiss Mag.
About her residency, O’Brien says “I am so excited to be one of the interdisciplinary artists in residence at Baltimore Clay Works this winter. My studio practice grapples with camp, craft, and play and involves various modes of object construction such as assemblage sculpture, ceramic hand building, and hand tied, latch hook rug making.
While in residence at Baltimore Clay Works I plan to work towards a new series of sculptures that marries my ceramic, fiber, and sculpture practices and address themes of fragility and precarity. I will construct overlapping, ceramic skins for my assemblage sculptures concocted from found metal and scavenged, defunct home goods. These ceramic objects will operate like armor or appendages and sometimes, like hardware to suspend or stabilize my off kilter, delicate objects. I also plan to create a series of clay “paintings” that serve as interlocking tiles or segments of wall paper for future installations.”
Luna María Oak is a two-spirit Apache-Xicanx multidisciplinary artist. They are a plural creature of the mountains and the desert, born and raised in Puebloan lands. Their practice studies the transformative dialogue between being and material as explored by traditional/ancestral methods of making. They currently live in Picataway territory.
About their residency, Oak says “I am interested in making musical instruments to be used communally in ritual. Making these from clay ties into ancestral ways of making flutes and drums. Uncovering ancestral connections and learning the mechanics of each individual instrument is key. Beginning to expand my knowledge of the properties of clay, especially how to work with them in their many different states, will open my personal practice. The way clay is shaped by all elements (earth, water, air, and fire) is something I want to understand at a deeper level. I want to feel the ways each element transforms in relation with one another.
Applying these instruments to ritual work will create a space for experimenting with communal sonic healing. This is where earth and sky meet, the mundane and the ethereal, held within clay vessels with a pulse and a voice. Ultimately, this takes me to a new place in my ritual practice that is less self-focused, and more focused on holding-together and healing-together. To hold and heal in moments of vulnerability is what will create growth as we move into the future, and I want to learn to be more present in these tender moments.”
Stay-tuned for updates during their residencies!