Austyn was very inspired by the Tapir's form, its prehistoric-ness in an animal that exists still today (though under pressure of extinction). They are fab looking creatures with that fantasy element Austyn is so talented at capturing in her ceramic sculptures. Obscura, the Malayan Tapir, is incredible, a lovable guy and is about the size of an actual new born. It's marking were hand drawn by Austyn using ebony pencil. Look for the smiley faces.
Obscura is representative of Austyn's 2020 theme: To remind myself that "humans are animals too." To practice forgiveness, kindness and listening to people without judgement. We are not aliens or gods but products of the earth just as the other animals are. My pieces are looking at the incredible reality of earthly evolution. I want to bring both evolutionary history and societal history into planetary perspective. It is easy to tear down and so difficult to create.
From the artist: What is really going on with human beings and this planet? This is a question we all think about from time to time. Deep thoughts about human history, culture and our place in the universe are quickly overshadowed by more pressing everyday issues of life. Much of our American time is occupied with short term animal concerns; for basic needs like full battery, Wi-Fi and “likes”- what else is there? Of course, this is a very one dimensional view of modern life.
In my figurative work I attempt both 2 and 3 dimensional feats of creation! Being raised within the symbolic system of American Saturday morning and weekly afternoon cartoons I always wondered what happens to these characters after the show? What sort of purgatory are they trapped in between scenes? I assumed there must be more to these flat characters. I studied the philosophy of consciousness at university as well as art history and mythology. I studied the ancient absurd demons within Hieronymus Bosch’s 14th century paintings and the reality breaking freak show of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” In searching for what cannot be known, I now see my figures through an animist framework, as functional totems for lost thoughts and spirits of human intuition."
Meet the Artist