Patti Warashina is a Pacific Northwest based artist known for her imaginative ceramic sculptures that are full of wit and sarcasm. At age 76, she does not stop inventing. Featured here on our blog, her clay figures are usually placed in fantasy environments, where she uses sculpture to explore such themes as the human condition, feminism, car-culture, and political and social topics.
Warashina often refers to her works as dream-like, coming out of left field: “My main thrust is the gesture of people and individuals,” she says, “I’m fascinated by what’s out there in the world- it’s pretty bizarre out there.” Some of her first pieces, inspired by the dolls she played with as a child, express her particularly interest in characterizing women, where they take on the form of witches dancing around a fire, and nude devils and mortals riding in and alongside cars.
For the first time in her long career, Warashina is also incorporating laser and LED light displays into some of her sculptures. While there is a change in some of her materials, her unique sense of humor is still apparent in her newest body of work, “Thinking Clearly”, debuting May 5th at Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art in Seattle. In one piece, titled “Brain Storm”, there is a laser display that is being projected against the interior of the glass hat, and in her “Censored” series, the figures have color LED light displays projecting from their heads.
On the strangeness of her sculptures, Warashina explains: “It’s kind of an aberration of life. And I love those kind of things where there is kind of this surprise element – you know, things aren’t as they seem. And there is always this quirk in human nature. And so I really love that kind of – where you approach something and it looks okay, and then when you look again, there is something wrong. I love that quality.” “Thinking Clearly” will be on view through May 31st, 2016.