Curator, Writer, and Museum Administrator

Mattering: Recent Work by Fiona Ross

Mattering: Recent Work by Fiona Ross

Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature, September 21, 2005 through February 12, 2006

This exhibition features ceramics and drawings by Fiona Ross, adjunct assistant professor of art, Department of Art and Art History, University of Richmond. Made from powdered minerals, clays, and refractory concrete, the artist's sculptures convey the role of matter as subject in her artwork. Her drawings explore the tension between ink and paper to suggest patterns found in nature as well as in human constructions.

Together, her works can be viewed as the synthesis of fragments to suggest vastness or mass. In drawings such as Float (2004), thousands of circles and dots merge into one large form that can be read as a microscopic view of an organism, or a "map" of an expanding universe. In ceramic pieces such as Twined (2004), the viewer can see the powdered materials that are fused together in several firings to create dense forms that appear to have been created organically, without the influence of the artist's touch.

Ross' interest and respect for the independent nature of different materials--sumi ink, porcelain, and feldspar for example--afford an improvisational facet to her creative process. A portion of this exhibition examines the raw substances such as copper, quartz and gypsum that comprise her ceramics. Rock and mineral specimens from the museum's collection are paired with Ross' works to show the transformation and the role of matter in her art.

Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition was curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University Museums, in collaboration with the artist.