The pottery of Navajo artist Christine McHorse is currently on display in an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. McHorse has been creating her unique brand of abstract ceramic art for nearly 20 years, having made a decision in the mid-90s: Pottery as sculpture, not functional houseware. Though created using techniques that potters have used for centuries, these objects don’t necessarily hold water or flowers.
Her philosophical decision about the nature of her art was followed by a stylistic breakthough. As the page about her exhibit on the MoCNA website explains, “instead of leaving it the natural tan color of the clay she placed it in a garbage can filled with burning leaves and closed the lid. By reducing the oxygen, the pot’s surface turned black. The flecks of mica from her locally sourced clay glittered dramatically against the black ground, creating an advancing and receding surface of dark and light.”
Thus the name of her ceramics series, and the show featuring them: “Dark Light: The Ceramics of Christine Nofchissey McHorse.” It runs through July 31, 2014—visit the MoCNA website for further information.