Carolyn Baginski currently resides in Columbus, Ohio where she lectures at The Ohio State University in the ceramics area and maintains her own studio. She graduated from Ohio University in 2008 with a B.F.A. in Art History and Ceramics. and recently earned her M.F.A. from The Ohio State University in June of 2012. Carolyn spent the time between her undergraduate and graduate work traveling and working at art studios around the country. She spent a year working at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York, followed by a year as an Artist-in-Residence at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana. She has also spent time working at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Haystack Mountain School of Craft, and again at Red Lodge Clay Center. Carolyn has participated in numerous exhibitions across the country.
The glimmer of reflected sunlight seen from the corner of my eye transports me to a mountainside. Standing amid a field of alpine wildflowers delivers me to my childhood bedroom, bathed in floral patterning. I am all three places at once. Despite my best efforts, my mind cannot be restrained by my physical location. My experiences build on each other. Memories form a lens through which I see the present. I want to see everything at the same time, so I am unlearning perception. One reality just fades into the next, as if on a whim.
In my sculptures I force multiple versions and views of reality to exist at once. Space is stretched, substituted, morphed and abbreviated. Perspectives are continuously shifting and as a result, scale changes throughout a piece. It is a world of apparent familiarity, but the pieces are arranged in an illogical manner. Color, detail and decoration are tools for directing focus and obscuring the seams between different perceptions. Rather than representing nature, sculpted flowers and pattern reinforce the presence of fantasy within my work. The conventions of the figurine provide a friendly framework for understanding the mixture of fantasy and reality. The ability of the ceramic object to fluctuate from exquisite to kitsch makes room for humor to enter the scene, giving it an air of playfulness.
Animals are a way to communicate with the viewer. Whether they are blindly mimicking human behavior or confronting expectations through their direct stares, they call for a greater level of awareness for how we understand our own existence. It is clear from their eyes that they are, as I am, unsure of the reality of their own surroundings.
My goal is to re-immerse myself in a place that exists mostly as a collection of fantasies and feelings. There is no distinction between daydream and reality. Instead, the place is built around a moment of curiosity or humor and my own invented story that goes along with it. I am interested in the implied narrative of a moment. I wonder, what happened before and what will happen after? It becomes a game to discover what led up to this particular event. Everything is a pattern, it is only a matter of rearranging the pieces.
There are so many things I try to make sense of. I want to understand why mountains are only mountains from far away. I want to know where mountain goats go in the winter and what birds do when they can’t sleep. I wonder if sycamore trees are as indecisive as they seem. I create my own folklore to answer these questions, bringing together elements of familiar places and stories, repeated so frequently they have become truths.