The internet overlords (aka: Facebook), recently reminded me that my MFA Thesis show Trace had its reception seven years ago. Isn’t it funny how that feels like both a lifetime ago, and the blink of an eye. 

It definitely does make me feel a bit nostalgic to think back to that show. At the time it felt like such an ending, but it really was just another of life’s beginnings. Marked by fried chicken and sparkling wine (as all big life events should be in my opinion).🥂

Naomi Clement MFA Thesis show Trace


Here is a brief excerpt from my thesis paper explaining the title:

Trace means many different things to me: it is about the idea of both connecting to the past (tracing backwards), as well as forging a pathway towards the future and how I would like to exist in the world. It is about making connections and missing connections. 

And if you’ve ever heard me give an artist talk, you’ve heard me talk about the importance of the table to my work:

All of the works in this exhibition exist either for the table, or can trace their roots to the table, which has always been central to my idea of home. As someone who grew up eating dinner as a family every night of the year, the dinner table for me is a place where one can both assert and understand identity. Gathering space, battleground, pulpit, and stage, it serves as a threshold for the happenings of life. 

Naomi Clement MFA Thesis show Trace


It sure is interesting looking back some 7 years later and re-reading my thesis paper—some things have changed, but many things still hold true. 

This paragraph in particular still strikes me as important: 

Pots are situated at the centre of my investigations into usefulness, need, and belonging. Closely entwined with our relationship to our domestic spaces and most basic survival needs, pots serve both as placeholders for ideas of function and utility, as well as physical manifestations of them. So intertwined with our daily rituals that they become an extension of our bodies, pots act as a bridge from the corporeal to the beautifully mundane, conductors and facilitators of our intimate moments and rituals. 

Thanks for travelling with me down memory lane—if you want to check out more images from the show you can see them here

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May 03, 2024 — Naomi Clement