Richard Notkin
Artist Biography:
Richard Notkin is a full-time studio artist who lives and works in Vaughn, Washington, USA. Richard has worked mainly in ceramics for over 50 years, averaging over one solo exhibition per year. His series of Yixing (China) inspired teapots and ceramic sculptures have been exhibited internationally and are in more than 75 public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan. He has held visiting artist positions and conducted over 350 workshops throughout the world. In 2008, Notkin was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council.
Creative Statement:

The heart teapots were originally conceived to explore the seeds of collective human conflict, conflicts which arise between tribes, races, nations, religions, or political groups. My choice of imagery was inspired by a sentence from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago: "But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." I began with the anatomical elements of the human heart, altering and distorting their proportions slightly to achieve the basic functionality of a teapot.

"The two pieces I have lent to this exhibition are examples of my current political and social activism as an artist. Titled, "Heart Teapot: Petrol Hostage" and "Heart Teapot: Internal Combustion Metamorphosis," both of these pieces comment on human civilization's dependence on fossil fuels and the negative consequences of global warming. The human heart is an image that represents our individuality as well as our morality: we are all capable of committing acts that are both good or evil, knowingly or in ignorance. Our collective actions always have consequences, and these will determine our ultimate fate.