Published October 27, 2020
Emotions as old as the garden of Eden, fear and anxiety are the most primal of responses to serpents. Far from being only monsters of deception and death, they are also ancient symbols of healing, power, transformation across cultures, myths, and religions. Just think of Ouroboros, a snake devouring its own tail, the oldest known symbol in alchemy, one that represents eternity and endless return. Artist and ceramicist Krista Nogueras plumbs the human psyche, her own, and her audience's, for these associations to primordial serpentine forms in ceramic sculpture installations.
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At her 2019 solo exhibitionLake Predicament, Nogueras creates a charged psychological environment-- a pit of ceramic vipers. Akin to the endless cycle of the Ouroboros, Nogueras' goal for this encounter is a cycle of human responses, a dark fear that shifts to one of familiarity, even of contemplation of beauty. But as is often the case with aversion in art, confrontation and discomfort are the point, whether this leads to acceptance is unimportant. However, for Nogueras, the redemptive or transcendent significance of this pit is signalled by an object floating and shining in the darkness above it, a human heart.
There's a life force in clay, one that is drawn out in a process of great discomfort and extreme heat. So with traditional hand building methods, combined with stain and glaze painting and mark making, Nogueras gives form to aspects of the human psyche, to femininity, sensuality, fear, fascination, and others she is drawn to.
Krista Nogueras is a Filipina contemporary artist who has exhibited locally and abroad. She also teaches and facilitates hand-building ceramic workshops. Her solo show Lake Predicament at Art Informal was shortlisted for the Fernando Zobel Prize for the Visual Arts in 2019. In 2018, she participated in a month-long residency at T U Collab in Singapore.