Inwardly, 2019, Edna Oliver - Eretz Israel Museum

Inwardly, 2019, Edna Oliver

Photo: Hadar Saifan


Porcelain; mold casting, multiple firings


Edna Oliver, b. 1976


“I sculpt abstract ceramic objects that can move and change. The principle that guides me is creating interaction between the object and the viewers, so that the object invites viewers to explore it by means of touch, observation and listening. This work invites viewers to explore different movement possibilities and play with the resulting associations. The forms are organic and vital, and the movement infuses them with life. Some forms are pleasant to the touch, like the work “Inwardly” presented at the Biennale, while others are prickly and create a different kind of tactile experience.

The movement is created through the assemblage of units that lock together, exploiting the process of shrinking in the kiln thanks to a series of firings, beginning with the internal object and moving on to the external one.

“The work began with a small core measuring 0.5 cm in diameter. With every firing, I added another layer, so that the work expanded over time. After 12 firings, I had 12 interlocking spheres. As the work expanded, the sounds became richer and more varied, and the movement grew more interesting.

A sphere is a simple mathematical object, yet when several spheres are joined together, they create a complex interaction that opens up a wide range of possibilities. Spheres with a shared center serve as a basis for numerous models: from depictions of the universe in ancient cultures to the description of the soul and spirit in modern psychology. This work also involves a conflict in the order of the spheres, since the dozen spheres were created from the interior outwards, yet the work is seen and explored from the exterior inwards.

“I create a wide range of objects. Some are sophisticated and refined, while others are simple and childlike. I view this as part of the human range, the range of our thought. I believe that art can create a world, and that is what I aspire to do, to create a world that cannot be ordered in molds. The multiple interpretations of my works reveal that the result is an undefined world that viewers can each experience from their individual perspectives.”


This work is on display at the Man and His Work Center, Tel Aviv Biennale of Crafts & Design, MUZA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv.