Nan FarrarRudy, Arkansas

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2023 (ASPN)

Nan Farrar (they/them) is a trans artist and poet born and raised in rural Arkansas. They are currently studying at the University of Arkansas and will graduate with their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art in the spring 2023. They have exhibited nationally, and was recently featured in the NCECA 2023 exhibition “Biomorphic Idyll”.

My body of work grapples with feelings of displacement within my own body in response to sexual trauma and physical disorders and the process I undergo to recreate a space I can feel safe within. Utilizing the idea of our bodies as our first “home”, I question what constitutes and is defined by the word “home”, and how letting go of our cultural understanding of the term opens us to a larger interpretation of the word.

My current practice utilizes the hyperbolized and simplified image of a mountain to symbolize this “home”, due to the natural process of erosion reminding me of my own personal transition as a transgender person. Through framing transition as erosion, I question how the decoration of my surfaces relate to the decoration of the human body, how the act of shaping a clay form relates to the physical changes I undergo through transition.

Surface curation feels like adornment; layering a variety of bright, rich materials feels like celebration. Through the addition of mason stains, underglaze, glaze, glass, and enamel, each layer and subsequent firing reveals a further realized self, one that I feel I can come home to.