One of the advantages of establishing long-term relationships with artists is the opportunity to observe the development of their work over time. I first showed pieces by Cheryl Ann Thomas in the gallery in 2006, and six years later her work has steadily grown in grace and complexity.
If you aren’t familiar with Cheryl’s work, she coils impossibly thin ropes of porcelain clay into balanced cylinders and vessels, which collapse under their own weight when exposed to the heat of the kiln. These single “relics” represent an early phase of her work, and she now combines several, firing these groups for a second or third time to create larger abstract sculptures. Cheryl has also experimented with bronze and steel, striving to remain as faithful to the properties of these new materials as she does to those of porcelain.
One of Cheryl’s most recent developments is her new exploration of soft, subtle coloration. Her previous work featured an elegant palette of white, gray, and black with the occasional blue coil running through certain pieces. In comparison, her newest creations are constructed of gentle blue, brown, gray, cream, and white. These light hues lend a soft-focus quality to her work and make their delicacy, already a defining characteristic, even more pronounced.
It has been a pleasure to observe Cheryl’s persistent stylistic development. Each stage of her evolution has been natural, with nothing forced or contrived about her transitions. Over the past six years, she has continued her investigations into the “experience of creation and loss” by seeking out subtle new avenues to explore.