Ginger Geyer’s conceptual works in porcelain remind us that art, at root, is fundamentally about play. Play in the deepest sense. Play as fun, mischief, and the free exercise of the imagination. But like all the best forms of play, Geyer’s work has plenty of rules. In her case, they involve the limitations and demands of a difficult medium—porcelain. Combining both ordinary objects and classic works from the repertoire of Western art, Geyer’s pieces stimulate our minds and yet at the same time they leap directly over our linear mental processes. Just when one of these creations is tempting you to think out the allusions and theological implications, they sneak in under your emotional radar, evoking what T.S. Eliot called “memory and desire.” But if you’re ever tempted to think Geyer’s just a Texas trickster, keep in mind one final thing about play—and that’s that, as any child knows, play is always a serious business.
Some of Geyer’s work is featured in Image issue 33.
Ginger Geyer’s glazed porcelain sculpture has been exhibited in the Center for Art & Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C, and in diverse museum, seminary and gallery settings. She currently is exhibiting with Jim Janknegt at the Nancy Scanlan Gallery at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin. In Austin she was represented by LyonsMatrix Gallery, and shows regularly at Cidnee Patrick (formerly Edith Baker Gallery) in Dallas. Her next large exhibition in Dallas, with Pamela Nelson, is slated for September 2003. The sculptures and stories have recently been published in Image, The Christian Century, and www.thehighcalling.org. An extensive look at her art and stories can be found at www.gingergeyer.com.
“Oranges are better than apples for juggling because they don’t make such a mess when I drop them. An orange that has just landed is an exhibition in Austin, the first I’ve had at home in a few years. An orange that seems to be perpetually up in the air is my website, www.gingergeyer.com. It is a thin disguise for a book I still hope to do. There may be a smushy apple on the floor when a story I’ve just written gets put into print by Image. Smushy, because the story might embarrass some people I love. It reveals the elephant in the room, a theme that prophetic art must struggle with in its dig for hope.”
“Lately I’m intrigued with the entanglement of Christian triumphalism, sewing machines, pop images of Jesus, war, cigars, nonviolence, tool kits, the classical vices and virtues, linen placemats, stories of grace in the Old Testament, beauty, and a recent family tragedy. All of these are mating and budding out into stories and poems and sculptures. Theological insights will arise out of the ferment, hopefully without choking the final aesthetic form.”
“Which brings me to the growing edge in my work: supplanting preachiness with evocativeness. Wrangling words makes this need more apparent. A sculptural approach to writing interests me, and I intend to focus on learning the craft of poetry and short story.”
“My acute challenge, thanks to a big, fat birthday, is to focus my time and energy. I need to explore grant opportunities, exhibitions, enlarged studio space, and the business end of art. But I don’t want to become so goal oriented that I lose the flexibility to go off on rabbit trails. That is where I find small observations that hook onto the bigger framework of my support system. Through obsessive indexing of ideas, unexpected connections arise that provide the best fodder for my art. It is more like an entwined grapevine than singular fruits. I think I’d really rather pluck the fruits than juggle them…”
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.