Janiece MaddoxIowa City, Iowa

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (ASPN) 2021

Janiece Maddox is an interdisciplinary artist based in Iowa City, Iowa, currently working towards her BFA in ceramics at The University of Iowa. Her work addresses concepts of reality by contemplating the influence societal institutions have on children. She uses nostalgic imagery, strident colors, and imagined spaces to conceptualize the liminal space between this world and the next.

My work critiques the systematic manipulation of the untouched mind by considering how societal institutions such as academia, religion, and cultural influence us at a young, vulnerable age.

I use ceramic as a means to capture these ideas in a comical way, ranging from compiled streams of consciousness to direct translations of my past self’s thoughts. In order to capture the candy-coated energies of a child’s reality, I utilize nostalgic imagery in varying environments to push the duality of familiarity in my sculptures.

I also attempt to contemplate childlike perceptions of reality as means for addressing simulation theory— the possibility that life as we know it may not actually exist. Clay, as a material, is both basic and boundless, which is the exact requirements for being both a child and a God. The medium then aids in the exaggeration of existence by forcing me to take on the role of Creator. I use these existentialist ideas to create humorous depictions of what reality could be like as perceived by a blissfully ignorant mind, in the hopes that we all can feel this bliss while also examining the widespread corruption of innocence.