Title: The Three Graces
Artist: Ingrid Saag
Profile: INGRID SAAG: 'There are several sources of inspiration for my work. The natural world has always been a favourite subject. My regular walks in Isabella Plantation, a garden in Richmond Park with its woodland streams, water plants and florescent rhododendrons and azaleas, inspired the designs for the Isabella series of vases. I never tire of portraying the infinitely fascinating female form, which I often use when I explore themes of romance, love, lust, and other human emotions and feelings through poetry, love letters and other written material. The poetry of Pablo Neruda has been a huge inspiration in this area. On the larger work the painting and poetry is sometimes carried to the inside of the pot. Another favourite subject has been the use of simple abstract patterns, such as checks or stripes, a perfect way to indulge in my exploration of and play with colour. This developed from my habit of testing all materials in different ways and combinations on scores of test tiles. Some of my test tiles are like mini abstract paintings, which act as inspiration for future work. Clear, vivid colours, an integral feature of my work, were probably instilled into my psyche during my childhood growing up in the tropics. Colour has a powerful therapeutic action, which can have a healing and rebalancing effect for both the artist and the viewer. Every day we take in colour energy in various forms through the clothes we wear, from the colour schemes in our homes and offices, and even by the colour of the foods we eat. For example, blue has a calming influence, relieves inflammation and can be helpful for dealing with hypertension and insomnia. Orange is the colour of imagination, vital energy and optimism, which can stimulate the respiratory system and an under-active thyroid gland. While yellow, the colour of the mind and intellect, can promoteclear thinking, the ability to think on a philosophical level, and also stimulate the lymphatic system and intestinal tract. It is likely that the colours I am drawn to use on any particular day are an emotional or psychological response related to how I am feeling at the time. Although my medium is ceramics, my work has drawn more from painting. On some of the more complexly painted larger vases, such as the SBFI vase, I can use more than 40 different colours. Many of my pieces are one offs, the rest are produced in small editions. I could no more make large quantities of the same vase, than a painter would want to paint 50 or 100 similar paintings. Yet, although the unplanned surprises that one is sometimes greeted by on opening the kiln door can be a disappointment, I also love that extra dimension of the wonderful unpredictability that is ceramics.'