Monday, April 13, 2020

Delve Into the Dystopian Ceramics of Laura C. Hewitt

The work of Alaskan artist Laura C. Hewitt is strikingly beautiful and startling dark and whimsical. It immediately evokes the work of H.R. Giger but upon further inspection, there’s an aesthetic that’s so completely unique and ethereal. She earned her MFA in 1998 at the Vermont College of Norwich, and her work has been exhibited from Alaska to Seattle to New York. Her Etsy shop, INAEENT or It’s Not Anything Exactly Enterprises, is now the prime location for acquiring one of her mysterious and otherworldly pieces, which include decorative vases, plates, cups and saucers, jars, and ornaments. The work must be seen to be believed. Ms. Hewitt writes,

“I’m particularly interested in exploring the intersections between technology and nature, art and craft, destruction and creation. As inspiration, I look for the magical within the mundane, provoke thoughtfulness with the practical and animate the pragmatic with mischievousness.”

For my birthday, I purchased the piece called a “Hybrid Dystopia Cappuccino Mug. On Wheels” and  it is detailed exquisitely in 22k gold. It’s heavy, solid and even a little sharp is spots.

Holding it for the first time was it’s own ephemeral experience. I felt the true artist’s energy and passion coming through, and it evoked a strange feeling like she has somehow tapped into a different consciousness and that realm was being channeled directly into her work.

Upon studying the piece, the mind reels out of time, looking for mooring, as faces, hands, teeth, tails emerge and recede. There’s a story going on from all sides, underneath, and inside. Its energy transports the imagination to the far reaches of the cosmos.

I reached out to Ms. Hewitt with a few questions, which she graciously answered.


What drew you to this kind of expression and medium? 
Pottery was the only medium I’ve worked in where I could actually make money from home. 18-hour exhibition related flights + teaching job got really old, really fast. 

Who are some of the artists that inspire you? 
Anything edgy, contemporary, trope defying, a bit of danger and a dash of science helps, too.  Currently: Cai Guo Qiang, Adrian Piper, Roberto Lugo, Tsutomu Nihei, William Gibson, Megan Thee Stallion, Carmen Maria Muchado, Augusten Burroughs, Dark Souls video game, Handmaid’s Tale (series) and those animated engineering videos on Instagram of concrete being poured underwater or bridges getting built or whatever.   

Your work evokes an otherworldliness. What is your sense on the secrets of the cosmos?  
Well, that’s certainly not a question I’ve been asked hundreds of times!  I really haven’t a clue.  Probably it’s a huge joke we’re just not getting.   

Your work feels deeply spiritual and meaningful. What is your message?
Think Dangerously.  Embrace everything, even the icky stuff. Take care of yourself because no one else can do that for you. When life feels pointless and meaningless, we can create meaning for ourselves, we’re responsible for creating meaning for ourselves (those of us who have the privilege, of course, the time and resources) and it can start with small personal rituals, as simple as using a thoughtfully chosen cup for the day’s first coffee.

How do your family and friends perceive the work?
Not much different to what you, and others, have written about it, but they’ve always seen sardonic humor as well.  It’s been said to me, and they’ve heard many times, “It looks like it was created by several different people.” And they’re like “Oh no.  That’s all her alright.”

Follow CyborgWidow on Instagram to keep up with her latest works. They truly are one-of-a-kind artwork that you can own!