Matt Ziemke (b. 1985) holds his MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University(2011) and a BFA from the University of Colorado Boulder(2007). Ziemke is a full-time lecturer at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Ziemke has exhibited work in group and solo exhibitions across the United States at venues including the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, The Clay Studio of Missoula, Carbondale Clay Center, Santa Fe Clay, The Clay Studio of Philadelphia, Vox Populi and Pottery Northwest. He was an Artist in Residence at The Clay Studio of Philadelphia from 2011 to 2013 and in 2015 was named as an emerging artist by Ceramics Monthly.
The purity and harmony of ‘landscape’ has long occupied cultural and spiritual idealization. From the Garden of Eden or Shangri-La to the rich canon of landscape painting, we seem to find ourselves in paradox. One where we inescapably alter the essence of the very thing for which we yearn. My relationship to the notion of landscape is conflicted. I enjoy the comforts of civilization, yet often long for the experience of remote natural places. I admire the visual contrast that human methods of building cast on native landscapes; yet, I question if what and how we build could reflect not only our needs but also our values.
Cartography is a fascinating artificial method for perceiving landmass and is currently a dominating topic in my work. It, along with my own observations, curiosities, and anxieties inform both the work’s chaos and its order. Moving fluidly between two and three dimensions, my work explores the potential of material and process to create intentional misrepresentations of a widely understood visual language. Form and surface reference fractured places and lack specificity. Like gazing at clouds, each offers an opportunity to reflect upon personal experiences and perceptions of landscape.