Kest's pottery work is influenced by her 30 years as a fantasy and natural science illustrator, and seriously considers the idea that *magic* is the wild spore that cannot be exterminated by science or religion. Our human tendency is to seek magic, to envision ourselves in it and it around us. It is the liminal space where the “real” world intermingles with “possibilities” and is also the natural creative space in which the artist lives. It's the artist's job therefore, to leverage open this doorway to the magical realm and share the glimpses we get, and to poke others’ imaginations.

 

Kest has been working in clay rather seriously for two decades: In 1994, when visiting the home of author, Harlan Ellison, Kest saw the ceramic gargoyles hanging over his garage and thought that the grotesque caricatures were something she needed to attempt for herself. After all, every home needs a gargoyle or two. But it wasn't until a friend gifted her a pottery studio in 2016 that she really began to experiment with clay and create the prototypes for her Monsterpots. It was then Kest discovered that she held a fascination for the apotropaic objects the ancient Greeks called "eye cups" (kylixes), or the more modern versions of this idea ~"face jugs". Kest enjoys her long-distance conversation with the ancients and making work (some with humorous results) which has historical continuity.

If you wish to see a CV of Kest's exhibition and shows, please email a request. This fall, she will be showcasing for the first time her storytelling in ceramics in the Children's Book Illustrators exhibition at the University of Rhode Island, 1 September 2020.

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