Fascinating porcelain sculptures that merge the human figure with nature.
Born in Portugal, award-winning ceramic artist Natalia Dias used to visit local churches as art galleries. Their interiors, colors, and symbolism later became a strong influence in her work. She moved to Wales to study at the Cardiff School of Art & Design, and won a graduate residency at the Fireworks Clay Studios, of which she is a member today. She later won several prizes for her ceramic artworks, including the 1st prize for Ceramic + Glass at the Design4Science competition. Throughout her work, Natalia Dias draws inspiration from nature and the naturally occurring geometric patterns found in crystals and plants. In her figurative series, she combines these elements with the female figure.
“I explore the female as warrior, a figure exuding power and confidence, adapting to an environment in constant flux, metamorphosing between human, plant and beast. I work with narratives from the past that are linked with environmental themes of the present,” the artist explains. Furthermore, she combines the cultural heritage of Portuguese Palissy ceramics with the British tradition of sprigged stoneware and Japanese craft discipline in her work. Using a variation of hand-forming techniques and slip casting, she creates porcelain sculptures as clay collages. Finally, firing the works repeatedly allows the artist to achieve a rich glaze.
Majestic and fascinating, her figurative ceramic art celebrates both the female figure and the contemplative beauty of nature. The sculptures feature oak, cedar, or Iroko wood bases. On these organic plinths, vibrant green faces emerge from geometric patterns, fractal forms, or lush jungles. Each artwork has a distinctive personality and power, drawing the viewer closer to admire the highly detailed compositions. At once primal and modern, the figures of Iris, Boudicea, Brigid, Acantha, and Ecstasy fuse humanity and nature in captivating ways. Photographs© Natalia Dias.