Four years ago, my life was flipped upside down when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the nervous system through demyelination of nerves in the brain. Fortunately, medication allows me to carry on a normal life. Unfortunately, flare-ups still occur. Though it may not be apparent to others, the destructive internal effects have physical consequences on my body.
Through my sculptures, I reference this disguise of wellness. Internal damage is caused by a disease, but on the exterior, there is a deceptive rigid structure. The coil-built framework is cloaked in a metallic bronze glaze to imply strength and integrity. Conversely, the interior geometric shapes erupt with a volcanic and reactive glaze suggestive of a growing illness. All the while, the entire piece is susceptible to destruction, as ceramics is fragile and easily broken if mistreated- similar to an ill patient. The vulnerability of a structure, whether it be the human body, or a work of art, can be an opportunity to express empathy and communication.
Brett Beasley is a full-time working artist in Ames, Iowa. Brett loves to teach pottery classes at the Des Moines Art Center, Octagon Center for the Arts, and local community cultural centers. He has earned a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Master of Fine Art in Ceramics from the University of Florida and East Carolina University, respectively.