Undine BrodRhinebeck, New York

Red Lodge Clay Center – Long-Term Resident 2011 – 2012, Short-Term Resident 2014

Undine Brod received her MFA from The Ohio State University in 2011 and her BFA from the University of Washington in 1998. She also studied art at New York University and the NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University. In addition to exhibiting in the United States and internationally, she has participated in many artist residencies including: John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program in Wisconsin, International Ceramics Studio in Hungary, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, and the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan. Undine has also received several honors, grants and awards in recognition for and in support of her work including: the New York Art Sprinter’s Emerging Jewish Artist Award, an NCECA International Residency Grant, and the Women’s Studio Workshop Ora Schneider Residency Grant for Regional Artists. Although her main focus is on developing and exhibiting her own artwork, she has co-curated several exhibitions and has helped produce many other shows. Currently, her home and studio are located in Rhinebeck, New York.

My work consists of hand-built clay and mixed media animal sculptures adorned with non-traditional ceramic surfaces. The composite animals are not individual portraits nor true to an original source. The nonspecific hybrid creatures I create cannot be categorized. I omit or conceal the eyes to silence the animals, to evoke introspection, and to further enhance their ambiguity. The animals function as stand-ins for people to examine the human condition. They are representations of emotional states not fixed to time, place, or specific experiences. Expressions of distress and dejection exist side-by-side with qualities of being well loved and having lived well. The sculptures exist on the lines between joy and sorrow, pride and humiliation, fear and security, hope and despair, and love and neglect.

Our emotional lives are often hidden through layers of physical disguise, however the animals I create “wear” their experiences on the outside. Although they are mute, they convey various feelings through gesture and expression. The content of my sculptures comes out of personal experience, but the original narrative is not necessary. Emotional expression speaks for itself and does not need the details of a story to be felt. Through my work, I aim to bring feelings to the forefront of a conversation in order to more deeply connect with others.