Barbed Wire Tile
“Barbed Wire Tile” is a visual flash card — a close up image of war or violence decontextualised within the defined borders of the object, much as contemporary conflict is framed within the rational in western media. The use of clay, and the resulting material and tangible characteristics that soften and round out such a hard subject, is true to Notkin’s education and artistic development at the time of the American Funk movement and sits alongside works ostensibly made for functional use such as teapots or cups. The work remains unfired, seeking to convey its simple medium and to harness the primary nature and natural terteries of the clay. Notkin often uses such tiles in large, evenly patch-worked mosaics — engaging with similarly destructive images from contemporary and historical sources at one intersection, and discussing how easily the brutality of such calamitous events can devolve into white noise.
Medium: Terra cotta