Nancy Kubale

Rutherfordton, NC | Exhibiting Since 1996

Like the child who points out that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes, my work attempts to identify real truth, to transform sight to insight and ask questions that make other ask questions.  The challenge of our existence is both to figure out the meaning of our own lives and to do work that genuinely develops us, as we develop it. My figures are constructed as nudes though my use of color, stripes and polka dots may lead some to believe otherwise.  Their “nakedness” is metaphorical of my existential inquiry.  in order to find real truth one must undress oneself in the inward sense: removing the biases and assumptions that color our perceptions and worldview.

My ceramic figures begin with hand building techniques in red stoneware clay.  I cover most of the surface with a white terra sigillata, which I burnish to a buffed shine and fire at cone 04 for the first firing. I then layer slips, underglazes, stains, oxides, glazes, and underglaze pencils, firing each piece three to five times.  My imagery is influenced by Catholic statuary, ancient sculpture and Southern and Indigenous fold art.  Some of the larger pieces utilize “stages and backdrops” to create an environment or context.  Graffiti and ceramic tags are used to reference essence; the “I AM”/”I WAS HERE.” Text is used for the way words and language shape our perception and to offer further context.