Dryden Wells

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Wells has been working in China as a ceramic artist for more than five years. He first moved to Jingdezhen, China, in 2008 to manage and oversee production of the Pottery Workshop – Design Studio. The three years in Jingdezhen proved to be an invaluable experience, equipping him with a unique skill set and understanding of the ceramic process.  Since, he has had opportunities to instruct weekly studio classes at the PWS in Shanghai, college courses, both in the USA and China, and to continue the development of his own creative work. While most hours of the day are spent in the studio, any free time is usually devoted to hanging out with his dog, Jungle or catching up on Cardinals baseball.
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Title: Beef Cuts
Artist: Dryden Wells
‘Beef Cuts’ deploys an intuitive examination of motion and spatial awareness through figurative arrangements — a modular whole developing through swarm behaviour, the artist interested in connotations or questions raised by the fragmented composition. True to its title, each separate piece is modelled on cuts of meat or segments of animal. Hand-made fragments of white porcelain are combined with those sourced from a moulding process, the real and the imaginary combining in a synthesis that obscures origin and evades simple formalism.
Title: Movement Stack
Artist: Dryden Wells
Recognising the fluid structure and sense of movement held in flesh even as it is stricken from the bone, artist Dryden Wells utilises the form and de-familiarised structure of pieces of meat for strange modular arrays — ordering or stacking these animal parts through a multitude of shifting casts that begin to coalesce into a larger arrangement of space and shoal or colony-like relationship. With “Stack 6” Wells seems to take a pleasure in re-structuring an animal profile from the constituent parts, the silhouette and sloping migration of ceramic elements reminiscent of any quadrupedal muscle structure — a simple layer of glaze over one node outlining the ‘head’ and bringing the creature into focus.
Title: Movement Stack
Artist: Dryden Wells
Title: Movement Stack
Artist: Dryden Wells
Dryden Well’s use of meat or animal parts lends his sculpture an uncanny presence — the biological forms destabilised by a residual abstraction and odd purveying comedy in the value of use of such odd source material. The kinetics of “Movement Stack 8” seem bound to the structural dynamics of muscle (and in direct conflict with the natural solidity of the clean ceramic casts), exploiting the sense of compressed energy conveyed in the wings in a repeated sequence to create a pouncing movement even in stasis.
Title: Space-Study Duck
Artist: Dryden Wells
Interior and exterior spaces are primary oppositions that I use in my work both formally and conceptually. Using animal forms as a subjects for my process and vehicles for my content, I am able to address these spaces literally and metaphorically. The animal form allows me to juxtapose other distinct opposites such as life and death, positive and negative. I feel that through this synthesis I am presenting questions and concerns which are not necessarily answered in the work.