Sally Fitchard

Multiple Kneels (Telling) 2022 by Sally Fitchard for Three Counties Open 2022


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Sculpture by artist Sally Fitchard titled Multiple Kneels (Telling) 2022 by Sally Fitchard for Three Counties Open 2022.

Artwork Size: Collective dimensions H 23.2 cm x W34 cm x D 16.5 cm. Collective Weight 3.2kg

Buff Stoneware clay body and porcelain slip for surface decoration.

This is a clay sculpture made up of three separate but very similar looking kneeling figures whose bodies are faced towards us whilst their faces are turned towards each other in the line rather than at us. Although recognizable as three human figures with all their limbs, hands and feet, torso and heads they are not sculpted intentionally to be realist but slightly abstracted, very minimal with no real anatomical details for example. They are all sculpted in the same clay body, a buff stoneware, that’s smooth to the touch, a beige colour and because no glaze has been added completely matt. The only surface decoration has been applied to the faces, a white porcelain slip. The name of the sculpture ‘Multiple Kneels (Telling)’ is both literal and ambiguous, literal ‘Multiple Kneels’ because the sculpture is a composite of 3 kneeling figures, ambiguous ‘(Telling)’ because the figures are engaging with one another but are they telling one another something or are their gestures telling because opinions are clearly visible within them to us the observer?

It’s noisy out there! We have a lot to take in and respond to especially when it comes to our own kind. I think we’re endlessly fascinating, particularly the mystery we can be to ourselves, to others and to one another. So not unlike a writer and their use of language to tell a story I am a sculptor drawing on the properties of clay to do the same albeit visually. I’m just starting the conversation though, one that I have alone in the studio, you’ll be creating the rest of it when I’m not there filling in the gaps however you see fit based on what you see, how you feel, what you relate to.

I graduated in studio ceramics from Staffordshire Polytechnic in 1991 and didn’t touch clay again until January 2019, we all know the story, it’s not a real job, it’s time to grow up and get a steady income (which of course is what we all have to do) but I’m back, I’ve always loved clay and I will never let it take second place again.

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