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It’s a Mad World

On August 29, Nicolin Haines had an art gallery opening in the Harcum Art Gallery at Wilmington College to display his collection of pieces titled “Madnormality.”

Haines has been making art in all forms since 2010, but it was not until his sophomore year of college that he realized clay was his calling.

In Haines’ artist statement he says, “The title, ‘Madnormality’, suggests a proliferation of mutations on an extreme or wild capacity. Through an exploration of construction techniques, I have found new (repetitive) forms upon which to experiment in the application of textures and reticulated crater glazes.  I want my work to act as a catalyst for self-reflection on the human impact on Earth and to facilitate confrontation:  the viewer cannot help but become drawn to the work, but must also question our part in environmental demise.” 

The collection includes pieces from Haines’ day as an undergrad at Bowling Green State University, pieces from his time at Kent State University where he obtained his Master’s in Fine Arts, and the remainder of the pieces are ones he crafted over the summer.

When asked what made Haines craft pieces like these, he said, “I enjoy making sculptural ceramic work like this because I feel it resonates with myself and potentially with my audience on a deeper level.  My work is intended to confront the viewer with a level of disgust, while also possessing a level of sensuality or beauty.  I’m influenced by the relationship between mankind and the natural world.  I construct these botanical, vessel-like forms with exaggerated mutations to highlight mankind’s neglect and mistreatment.”

Haines will be making new work again soon, but first he wants to reflect on this collection and apply to gallery shows and competitions. In my own personal reflection, I was taken aback by how beautifully crafted these pieces were. They remind me of cells and how our basic units for life can be so complex and beautiful.

The take away message can best be wrapped up by Haines himself: “Earth’s history has demonstrated its ability to adapt and survive through calamity and destruction.  Like an infection or disease, human activity is the planet’s biggest threat, causing repercussions detrimental to all life.  I examine these ideas by creating objects afflicted with their own mutations that are both seductive and threatening, and by doing so I hope to create a moment of reflection on the impingement of our existence.”

Haines collection will be on display until October 12.

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