Emily Connell received her BFA degree in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute, and is currently a Red Star Resident Artist at the Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. She has had the opportunity to work on her artwork at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snow Mass, Colorado and the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary. She has been published in numerous local papers as well as Ceramics Monthly, and exhibited nationally including the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts. In 2012, Connell was awarded the Regina Brown Fellowship to research Catholic processions in Italy during the spring of 2013. She has served as a Ceramics Instructional Assistant to George Timock at the Kansas City Art Institute and a 2012-2013 Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project Studio Resident.
“The progressive secularization of modern man has altered the content of his spiritual life, but not broken the mould of his imagination; a huge residue of mythology lingers in the zones that have escaped regimentation.” –Mircea Eliade, Images et symbols, Paris 1952
“The mysticisms I experienced as a child at Catholic school still hold a great power over me, influencing my art. I create art inspired by the mystery of spiritual purpose and the loss of physicality in an age of information.
Using a found vade mecum, or a book of reference (encyclopedia, Bible, dictionary), I cover it, page-by-page, in porcelain slip. Firing the book in a kiln transforms it into a reliquary shell, containing the ashes of the book within. Ensuring stability for the delicate book I encase it with chalky gypsum plaster. I then use a masonry-saw to cut the piece, revealing the cross section of the ceramic pages. Once again the informational book is placed into an open, active, and abstract position.”