Kim Colebrook's work is inspired by the history, people and geology of South Wales which she has studied and promoted throughout her career. In some instances, such as her installation about the Aberfan Disaster, the reference is very direct; however, for much of her work it is more subtle.
The communities of the South Wales Coal Field are connected by the hidden geology. The layers of coal, ironstone and clay which fuelled the industrial revolution show the power of nature which has distorted and split the strata. Kim uses the layers, the geological pressures, as well as the voids created by extraction within her work as a metaphor for the way that history and memories are buried and distorted with time and distance.
Working with porcelain allows Kim to explore the hidden. Geological layers are built within blocks of clay, in a loose Nerikomi fashion. By thinly slicing sections and rolling, she aims to integrate the translucence of porcelain into her work, creating simple forms that allow people to see the layers hidden within the thin walls. To contrast with this she also uses a version of Kurinuki to carve into solid blocks of the geological, layered porcelain, creating natural looking edges, and then allowing fissures to open during firing, giving a glimpse of what lies beneath the surface.
Kim also works with cast or press moulded forms where repetition and detailed texture are an important part of the narrative.
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