Corinne D. Peterson

Explorer 2013

Fire in the Belly

Unaccompanied Suite

Art making, for me, is a force for developing connections; between past and present, between opposing forces of nature, between the intellect and subconscious, and between me and my artistic materials. These clashes in the landscape create my material. The clay I use is formed by elemental forces of wind and water breaking down rock into silica and alumina particles. Then, with water added, new shapes are formed, which, in the fiery, airy atmosphere of the kiln, again become rock.

I traveled in Norway and Sweden the summer of 2012 to experience the landscape that formed my grandparents’ lives before they emigrated to Minnesota farms. I wanted to learn what I could of the geological and archetypal roots of their experience.

I have distilled my observations in clay sculptures that allude to elemental forces at work in the formation and life of rocks I saw, and also, metaphorically, to inner struggles and insights during and following my travels. On a hike along the Kungsleden Trail in the Arctic Circle, I encountered a meditation rock with Dag Hammarskjold’s words carved into it: “The longest journey is the journey inward.” On a deep level, this is what the trip was about; this journey continues to be at the core of my artwork.

© Corinne D. Peterson