“Earthen Thoughts” is the title of a small show of modest yet evocative, wall-displayed ceramic objects by Anita Fields at the Oklahoma state Capitol.
“Clay is soft, malleable and easily articulated into symbolic elements alluding to … nature and human emotion,” said Fields, a member of the Osage Nation, born in Hominy, who lives in Stillwater.
Small, organic-looking forms cover the black-and-white or terra cotta red-and-white surfaces of three shapes that look a little bit like hand-rolled cigars in “Three Thoughts,” for example.
Resembling an odd-shaped, black-and-white ceramic pillow is “Movement of the Sun,” a work divided into a “landscape,” and “sky.” Golden glazed, geometric emblems decorate nine blue and white, organic-looking tiles, in a simple yet elegant wall-installation Fields calls “Holding Patterns.” A dark, dramatic tornado-like funnel, poised “Above the Earth,” seems to menace the land and a sleeping woman below it, in Fields' two-part ceramic wall hanging of that title.
Two four-part, simplified, armless figures, one with its head up and the other down, may suggest the opposed viewpoints of gender or some other division in her “Looking Over the Invisible Line.” Collaged photo transfer fabric and paper waist bands add to the impact of eight streamlined, totemic, doll-like ceramic figures, embellished with polka dot or other patterns, in a work called “Creation.”
A bachelor of fine arts graduate of Oklahoma State University, Fields has had work in the Heard Museum in Phoenix and the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. Her works also have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the “Earthen Thoughts” show is well worth visiting during its run through July 8.
— John Brandenburg