Titania’s Masquerade: Unseen Worlds of Wonder
September 22 to November 4, 2023
The ceramic sculptures of Cherylle Booker draw deep from the well of ancient myth. Booker’s hands build the likenesses of everything from Shakespearean fairy queens to Yoruba water spirits to biblical seraphim. A fairy-tale addict from early childhood, such supernatural figures are instinctive subjects for the artist. However, Booker depicts these characters with a purpose. They are vessels for psychological explorations, ways of talking through subjects of PTSD, resilience, and the challenges of navigating the norms of the neurotypical world.
Booker’s sculptures are built from porcelain and stoneware clay, enlivened by rich layers of glaze – her color palette tends towards the deep and earthy. Some works include glass as well. When fired, marbles and beads melt into the crevasses of clay. One work even incorporates the five-hundred year old Japanese method of kintsugi, in which broken pottery is mended with golden lacquer. The cracks in Booker’s weeping figure gleam brightly, suggesting inner power that transcends frailty.
Through it all, Booker is searching for the invisible. “I’m depicting all of these creatures and beings that you’d never see – but I’m also looking for the unseen parts of people.” She adds, “You know, if fairies existed, most people would just walk right by.”
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