Benjamin Oswald received his MFA at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and was a recipient of the Robert Weghsteen Memorial Award in ceramics. His practice involves the creation of vessels and sculpture and is an examination of their spaces and interactions. Oswald has won awards both provincially and internationally for his work and recently completed a residency at the International Ceramic Research Centre in Skælskør, Denmark. He currently works as a professional artist and arts educator in Treaty 6 Territory - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
My work situates itself at the intersections of art, design, and contemporary craft and investigates themes such as inner and liminal space as well as resonance and repetition. I make work using minimalistic aesthetics and industrial processes to produce carefully profiled objects with the traces of the hand removed. This homage to a more reductive and design-based process speaks to my desire to tease out the underlying structure of a thing and then see it multiplied and reworked in combinatory ways to produce rhythms, contrasts or acts of excavation.
Ceramic vessels have a well developed vocabulary referencing the human body. For example, a vase has a foot, belly, shoulder or neck. I'm interested in the ceramic vessel’s symbolic connection to the body and I scale vessels in relation to my own body as I build them. While the exterior of the vessel is well defined, the inside of the vessel is not and is frequently referred to as the void or something to be filled. One of the questions in my work looks at the void and what is (or was) there or what we imagine to be there. In this way I ask questions about that liminal space between surface and void, light and darkness, material and immaterial, presence and absence, and body and soul as a means of exploring the concept of innerspace in addition to many unanswerable existential questions.