From a distance, the sculptures look soft," says Peled. "But up close, you realize they've got bite.
Zemer Peled’s labor-intensive process that bridges narrative and formalist elements. Peled utilizes a process of creation and destruction to make sculptures consisting of thousands of handcrafted porcelain shards resulting in works that can be read in relation to art historical tradition, outsider art, and natural phenomena.
The sculpture’s narrative impulses lean to encounters with the otherworldly—like complex topiaries marking a not-so-distant land--yet they remain distinctly tied to earth’s patterns. This conflation of the foreign and familiar creates a frenzied dislocation in the work. Inspired by migratory habits of birds, a sweep of feathers, and cycles of change, the works spiral outwardly in rhythmic patterns, interpreting not only the dynamism of nature, but also the startling strangeness of a life lived in transition.
Peled's work examines the beauty and brutality of the natural world. Her sculptural language is formed by her surrounding landscapes and nature, and engages with themes of memories, identity, and place. Her sculptures and installations consist of thousands of hand-crafted porcelain shards; a technique that yields a texture both delicate and severe. In some works, large scale-like ceramic pieces appear airy, delicate, and fluffy, as if one's breath might break it. In others, Peled's fragments are geometric barbs that mysteriously take on an alluring form - offering a sense of softness despite a sharp actuality. She has recently been featured in Hi-Fructose Magazine, Colossal, National Public Radio, MIND Magazine, O Magazine, and Ceramics Monthly (which featured her on the cover of the May 2015 issue).
Using white and colored porcelains, Peled transforms sharp slivers of porcelain into feathers, petals, leaves, and spines that describe objects of unknowable origins: seductive but untrustworthy. The forms are complexly ordered from the inside out, often bulging or spilling over with textures both delicate and severe. In some works, large scale-like ceramic pieces appear airy, delicate, and fluffy, as if one's breath might break it. In others, Peled's fragments are geometric barbs that mysteriously take on an alluring form - offering a sense of softness despite a sharp actuality. The forms are never static; the visual dance of sharp ceramic parts conveys a sense of constant movement. Like a murmuration of starlings, the sculptures appear to shift shapes as you move around them, an identity becoming and unbecoming in front of you.
The act of making for Peled is a feat of endurance, improvisation, and adaptation with the aim to embody a fleeting but fundamental feeling of mystery. The construction of her sculpture parallels negotiations any outsider makes in encountering a new world as they delicately construct a self that is both adaptable and resilient.
Zemer Peled’s work examines the beauty and brutality of the natural world. Her sculptural language is formed by her surrounding landscapes and nature, engaging with themes of nature and memory, identity and place.
Her works are formed of ceramic shards, constructed into sculptures and installations. Using a slab roller Peled makes sheets of clay which are fired, and then smashed into pieces with a hammer, creating a contrast between soft and solid material. Her current body of work inspired by the Blue and White floral and landscape designs painted on Japanese Wares. Looking at the small painting then enlarging and turning them into life-size sculptures, she would the viewer to feel as if they are walking inside a blue and white porcelain plate.
Peled’s series of contemporary sculptures are made out of thousands of porcelain shards, colored with blue cobalt, which are then restructured into anthropomorphic and zoomorphic sculptural forms. Zemer Peled (b. 1983) was born and raised in a Kibbutz in the northern part of Israel. After completing her BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Jerusalem), she earned her MA at the Royal College of Art (UK). In recent years, her work has been exhibited internationally, including such venues as Sotheby's and Saatchi Gallery (London), Eretz Israel Museum (Tel Aviv), the Henry Moore Gallery at the Royal College of Art (London), and the Orangerie du Senate (Paris), among others. The artist currently lives and works at the Archie Bray Foundation Residency (Helena, MT).