Nicole Aquillano MFA 12 CR
Based in Boston, MA
What are some things that inspire you in your studio practice?
Fascinated by the potential of place to define and connect us, I draw subtle narratives on functional work to elicit memories of past experiences. I am personally influenced by a nostalgia for my childhood home. Architectural imagery drawn from my photographic collection - inlaid with intense attention to detail directly into the porcelain clay body - prompts display of my work when not in use, as a meaningful addition to any collection. Blurred by the movement of glaze, the imagery is much like a faded memory. I am particularly interested in exploring the human need to maintain collections, as a way to preserve the past and satisfy the longing with which we inhabit the world: driven by a desire to hold onto that which will inevitably be lost. My memories and experiences are carved onto objects intended to be both used and collected: as a way to facilitate new relationships to fill the void left by that which we will never have again.
Does your current creative practice tie into your time spent at RISD? How so?
My practice has grown directly from my time spent at RISD - my thesis show was all functional work similar to the work I make now - all focused on my childhood home.
Is there a work/body of work that you are particularly excited about sharing with us at RISD Craft this year?
Making custom work is my favorite so I'll have some examples of that! It's so rewarding to be able to create a tangible work of art for people - so that they can incorporate their memories into their daily lives.
Any recent press/exhibitions/achievements you'd like to share with us?
My work can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Decordova Sculpture Park & Museum, the Clay Studio, Baltimore Clayworks, Worcester Center for Crafts, and the RISD Works Museum shop. My work has also been carried at Anthropologie stores across the US and online. In addition to my original collections, I also work with galleries to create custom imagery for their shops including the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, and the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut.
To see more of Nicole's work, visit nicoleaquillano.com