MUNTHE ART MONDAY: SIGNE BAILEY
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Signe Bailey, and I graduated as a ceramic designer from the Kolding Design School in 2007. I own the ‘Clayform’ brand, where I work as designer, artist, and craftsman. Clayform is my space to create ceramic art, that integrates innovative functional design and traditional Nordic simplicity. Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
What interests me most, is the tension between art, design and materiality. I try to create an aesthetic of contrast with clay, and find inspiration in man's inner life; in the emotions, and in man's outer life; in the forms of the human body and interactions in everyday life. This has been a great inspiration, that has led to my portfolio having a broad range of very different and distinctive ceramic offerings.
My approach to clay is playful and full of experiments both in relation to the use of colors, materials, shapes and techniques.
In addition to my professional self, I am married, have two young boys. and live and work in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Can you explain in more detail how being a woman has affected your career?
I can’t identify any specific limitations or advantages from external influences in relation to my career as an independent female ceramicist. However, I draw on my own life perspective and desire to achieve my professional ambitions, as well as maintaining a good work-life balance. Not least my desire to be present for my sons, especially while they are young. There are never enough hours in the day, and the calendar quickly fills up, but for me, my family is a top priority. This prioritization is not always the best for an ambitious career, it certainly creates a challenge for the amount of time, that I can put into my ceramics.
But for me, that quality time with my family, gives me both inspiration, motivation and the ability to be creative.
Therefore, all I can say for certain, is that being a woman, has given me a perspective through the changing roles, that I fulfill. That perspective is part of my strength and enables me to see possibilities, others might not be able to interpret.
Which other (female) artist inspires you and why?
I have learned a lot from the Danish ceramicist Anne Tophøj. She has a very conceptual and analytical process and mindset to her work. Her creations stand as clear examples, of how ideas can manifest in ceramic material.
What has been the most challenging thing about being a female artist?
Maybe there is a tendency for people to think, that women are not as good as men, when it comes to standing by their work, and discussing their artistic decisions with confidence. Perhaps, we more often than men, wait for someone to see us and show approval, for what we do. It’s difficult to talk in such generalizations, personally I believe the work should speak for itself, but I am an ardent critic, so I am prepared for any discussion related to my work.
What would you like people to notice in your works?
“Honesty” - is what I would like people to notice, when they interact with one of my pieces. We connect with things, that feel true in their nature, and my hope is, that people can relate to my ceramic paintings and sculptures, when they encounter these faces, emotions and captured moments.
My work tells stories about lives lived through the course of deep wrinkles and furrowed brows. These captured moments memorialize life experiences, and what it means to feel.
I hope viewers feel invited into a private - and sometimes hidden - emotional space, so that empathy can be felt in the interaction, or perhaps, that a feeling is reflected through my work. A feeling, which would have otherwise been ignored.