Undine Brod (b. 1974) spent equal amounts of time growing-up in LA, Seattle and NYC. She earned an MFA from The Ohio State University in 2011 and both a BFA in Ceramics and a BA in Interdisciplinary Art from the University of Washington in 1998. In addition to exhibiting in the US and internationally, she has participated in several artist residencies, most recently completing seven-weeks at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary. She has received several grants and awards in recognition of her artwork including: the 2011 “Best in Show” honor and prize at the Ohio State Fair Arts Exhibition and the top honor and prize at the 2010 Ohio Art League Annual Fall Juried Exhibition. Upcoming on her agenda is a return artist residency at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana and exhibition of her work at the 2014 NCECA conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Animals have been used in stories as metaphors and analogues for human experiences and feelings for ages. Their representations are a source of comfort, protection, wisdom, tragedy and sorrow. In reality, we manipulate, control, use and abuse these very same animals for our own benefit. The sculptures I create stem from this dichotomy.
My recent work consists of hand-built clay and mixed-media animal sculptures. The animals are not portraits; rather they embody elements of several species into distinct forms. The animals function as representations of emotional states not fixed to time or specific experiences. They’re fractured and dislocated, reflecting my experience of a contemporary culture that is not whole.
The animal works are tender, innocent survivors of exploitation and alteration. They are worn down and on the edge of existence. Expressions of distress and despair exist side-by-side with qualities of being well-loved and having lived well. The animals represent the point where the innocent become the manipulated, controlled, and sometimes feared. They are at a place of no return. Through my work I aim to suggest that violence and vulnerability isn’t out in some far-off war zone, but rather at the very heart of our domestic lives’ chaos and disorder.