1st Place recipient

Matt Wedel

I begin as if rules are non-existent; I play. Not frivolously or unfocused, but I use this weightless format to navigate the nomadic direction my mind chooses to follow. I can never hold my breath for things to go right; I can only continue forward watchful as to what unfolds. Throughout much of my childhood I have been exposed to clay. Merged with my time playing in the alfalfa fields that surrounded my father’s pottery studio are memories of watching him give shape to this formless material. These memories of childhood and connection to the creative process have become a reservoir of influence to what inspires me to make. In addition to this, I have grown fond of the precarious act involved in escorting such fragile objects through this process of indefinite change.

Using landscape as a platform to begin working, I approach creating as if the possibilities were limitless, weightless, and immediate. I work amongst this landscape both from my imagination as well as from historical influences. It is a system set up to feed the vocabulary I have to create while allowing me to play with the vocabulary I know. I never doubt my ideas as they arise but follow them with trust and utter intrigue helping them along to exist amongst this platform. In this manner I continuously learn, play and teach myself as an artist.