Bonnie Ralston is a visual artist based in New York City who works primarily in clay. Her work is process-driven and serves as the record of her inquiry into personal themes of identity, loss, and transformation. Biology and ecology provide inspiration and departure points for the work through subjects as varied as invertebrate metamorphosis, the process of fossilization, and composite organisms. The biomorphic forms that emerge serve as accomplice, witness, and response to internal interrogation.

The work begins as stoneware slabs which are then manipulated by hand. Intentionally left untouched are the awkward joins, cracks, and scarring—artifacts of the construction process, and of the compromises made between artist and material. The introduction of transitional metal oxides into the clay while still plastic, and again prior to final glaze firing, imbues the finished work with colors of soil, earth, and stone. More recently, Ralston has started incorporating found objects collected from walks in and around Gowanus into her larger sculptural works.

Lack of ceramic studio access during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a return to the world of two dimensions...

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