Alison Weightman - Shotgun Ceramics

Allison Weightman

"Though a shotgun may seem a controversial creative instrument it is the method by which many chose to express themselves throughout the world. In the hands of the artist it is used in full knowledge, a process balanced on the edge of the human capacity for creation and destruction”…Georgina Coburn

I used to shoot my ceramics because I wanted people to see the damage a gun can make. This was because I had strong feelings against gun crime and the mess War makes of the lives of innocent people. Families of soldiers and the innocent bystanders, these are the people who are most affected. The dead don’t speak.

Someone shot me in the leg when I was a child and this was what first motivated me to subject my work to the destructive forces of gun-fire. I have never shot a living thing and I have no desire to do so. I chose to shoot my ceramics because of my feelings.

Now I shoot my work because I have discovered that during this exploration of emotion and clay, I have developed a huge awareness of the focus required to shoot and how this focus is almost meditative to me. It has also led me to a point where I use my shotgun to produce work that is impossible to recreate in any other way.

I am no longer angry, and am enjoying the developments in the exploration of shooting from different angles and distances, and the effects achievable through subjecting the work to a force that is not directly applied by hand or tool meeting clay. I ask myself whether it is cathartic or learning? Perhaps it is both…the importance to me is the fact that I find self- expression and a purpose to what I do.

The writer and poet, Ian Stephen, said of my shot ceramics “The really strange thing is that the work retains some of the quiet elegance which comes from years of craft. This makes it bearable. So you don’t switch off but look closely…” Comments like this make me realize that what I am doing is appreciated and as long as there is appreciation, I will maintain the drive and passion I have found in this work.

I see my ‘Shotgun’ work as a journey. It sometimes leads me to installation work such as the show I had with American Artist, Ehren Tool, it sometimes leads me to produce quiet forms that have a presence without’ shouting about it’

The power of Weightman’s art is that it stays with you long after first exposure to the work”, Georgina Coburn

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