Gideon's Pocket Holy Bible by Emily Connell

Gideon's Pocket Holy Bible by Emily Connell


Porcelain, burn ashes of a Gideon’s Pocket Holy Bible, plaster.

About the piece: 

“The mysticisms I experienced as a child at Catholic school still hold a great power over me, influencing my art. 

Using a found vade mecum, or a book of reference (in this case, a Gideon’s Pocket Holiday Bible), I cover it, page-by-page, in clay slip. 

Firing the book in a kiln transforms it into a reliquary shell, containing the ashes of the book within. To ensure stability for the delicate book, I next encase it with chalky plaster. I then use a masonry-saw to cut the piece, revealing the cross section of the ceramic pages. 

As an additional step, I often use my body to create a  new context. By recording these symbolic interactions through the lens of the camera, I produce photographs and video to display alongside my objects. The combination of photographs and relics create a new narrative while also heightening the mystery of spiritual purpose.”

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About Emily Connell:

Emily Connell creates her work through a variety of media including ceramics, video, photography, and performance. Her background informs her work, which walks a line between two spiritual extremes. 

She has had residencies at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado and the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary. She has been published in Ceramics Monthly, and exhibited nationally including the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts. 

In 2012, Connell was awarded the Regina Brown Fellowship to research Catholic processions in Italy during the spring of 2013. 

Emily Connell received her BFA degree in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute and is currently a resident artist at the Kunstraum KC in Kansas City, Missouri.