This is an experimental body of research artefacts made as part of my contribution to The Clay Reader – Scoria, Scoria, Jeju Scoria, a modified artist in residence programme focusing on the creative potential of volcanic scoria soil from Jeju Island, South Korea. These vessels were formed and fired in molochite and plaster moulds using a process reminiscent of the pâte de verre technique of kiln forming glass frit. The interiors of the moulds were texturised or incised with simple imagery. The title responds to the project having been modified from a residency on Jeju Island to a postal project due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is also a reference to anthropologist Tim Ingold's (2013) concept of 'correspondence', where the act of making is dependent upon a mutually constructive relationship between the material and the sensory awareness of the maker. My own correspondence with Jeju scoria, involved a series of experiments through which I gradually gained an understanding of how I could work with it. Although this was an almost alchemical process which involved attempting to tame this relatively non-compliant material, it was also essential to embrace the particular material properties of the scoria. The resulting pieces have a primitive, archaeological appearance, where the natural qualities of this volcanic material merge with cultural references.
During 2020, we all faced the challenge of a pandemic, serious changes in the usual way of life, tense social situations and other difficulties. Each of us tried to cope with them in his own way, but turning to art and creativity are the ways of personal adaptation that are characteristic of our arts therapeutic community. We help ourselves and others cope with life's trials and ailments by tapping into the healing potential of art.
This virtual exhibition presents the creations of art therapists from different countries, made during 2020 - 2021, reflecting their characteristic ways and forms of creative personal adaptation in the current situation. Thanks to the organization of such an exhibition, we can support and enrich each other, assert a creative attitude towards life, the poietic stance in the world, as one of the fundamental principles.