I am an artist whose work juxtaposes the beauty of the environment and the harm being inflicted upon it. Using clay, I build ornate depictions of birds being consumed by ecological succession from their habitats. I carve every feather, bill, and talon. I then engulf the birds with nodes that sprout and spread on their surfaces. These nodes are inspired by the ecological succession made up of flora, foliage, fungi and coral from the habitats of the selected species. The growths weigh down the birds paralleling the weight of trauma from environmental destruction, suspending them in a state of being devoured. The surfaces of the birds are an alabaster colour. All chroma has been drained from them, foretelling an ode of what may come to pass. The labor intensive nature of the work is a reciprocal offering of my time to the natural world. By building meticulously delicate sculptures I create space for contemplation about our relationship with the environment. Through using clay, a material that stops and survives time, I ask the audience to observe acts of annihilation and question what is worth preserving.
CARMEN OSTERMANN (b. Edgewood, Kentucky) is a fine artist who was raised in the United States, Canada, Japan, and the Philippines. In 2015, she received her BFA in ceramics and sculpture at the University of Cincinnati. Afterwards she taught at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, Stivers School for the Arts and A+ Children’s Academy. Ostermann is the recipient of the Wolfstein Travel Fellowship (Frankfurt, Germany), the Margaret L. Gongaware Scholarship, and the Windgate Scholarship. She completed her MFA at the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2022. Her work has been featured in the Ohio Craft Museum, the Bridge Gallery, and the Beeler Gallery in Columbus, Ohio.