I love it when an artist’s work causes me to do a double take. When I spotted the ceramic sculptures of Anne Goodrich amongst the work at Guardino Gallery in Portland, I almost passed them by. From afar, they just seemed like botanical ceramics, which would likely just have elicited a “nice” from me. But upon closer inspection, I saw that these were something more.
These beautifully formed ceramics, in their soft pastels and rich earth tones play a delightful little trick on the mind. At first glance, you may think you know what you’re seeing– Oh, pretty seashell, no wait, flower, no wait, gourd.. snail? alien? What is it?!
It is in the ambiguity that Goodrich’s work finds its simple, sweet power. We aren’t sure exactly what these forms are, but even still, they speak to us. They are achingly familiar, like the face of a stranger who reminds us of a long lost friend.
They may remind us of forms that exist inside our own bodies. Or of organisms surrounding us, both seen and unseen.
Whatever they are, I want to bring one home, give it a name, let it speak to me and discover its mysteries.