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an introduction


My studio works from the late ‘90’s to early 2000's are in step with an architecture movement that re-examines ornament…and are realized as large assemblages of ceramic components that colonize built spaces. These micro- and macro-structures offer architectonic strategies of aggregation that extend the reach of ceramics as nomadic matrixes for post-modern space. The polymorphic forms intend an instinctual counterpoint within architecture…a biological animus, such as Hiving Mesh, which originates in the study of abscessed cones from a nearby conifer tree. The face of this suspended ornament is like a cut - a hive sliced - and very much a debt to E.O. Wilson and his investigation of social insects. Hiving Mesh begins a study of post-modern architecture and finding ways in which ceramics could function as a rhizome…variegated volumes but commanding a more porous type of synthetic landscape.


In the early 2000’s I decided to revisit an earlier impulse to narrate, to examine particular situations in various cultures and nation-states. Emphasis is now on archetypes and models used to explore historical junctures, developments and events, and occasions where modernity and national identity conflict. Hard Transits and The Washingtonian Service are examples.


Each project is dictated by the most compelling bits found in the initial research, and frequently fiction grows from the facts. I’ve always placed a premium on corporeality and materiality, and the newer installations employ images of architecture, simply because buildings are critical and captivating characters throughout human history.


As a member of the collaborative OortCloudX, I regularly work with long-time associate John Roloff to find vestiges of modernist thought represented in historical forms, in which we problematize and portray in archeological (and often catastrophic) and contemporary narratives, for instance Two Sites with a Similar Problem. We take our approach very seriously, but we don’t neglect the ironic, the mystical and the unexplainable either, to which we tether our penchant for aspects of pop culture.


Neil Forrest, 2022


© 2022 Neil Forrest. All rights reserved.

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