Mark Watjen • 6
“My artwork is meant to provoke thought and discussion about issues facing our society. I see my responsibility as an artist to be more than an object maker by using my medium as a vehicle for social change. The essence of my work is advocating for those whose voices are largely left unheard. I create narratives fueled by the dualities of life and death, beauty and suffering, justice and iniquity. I make molds of everyday objects utilizing their symbolic meaning. Casting the object in ceramics creates a separation of their actual function, bringing it into a dialogue with artistic and social concerns.
Throughout my artistic practice, I have confronted injustice and the conflicts and contradictions found with the devaluation of certain groups. Emphasizing the humanity of these subjects in hopes of showing common ground, despite our differences, is central to my artistic practice. I believe that how we treat those who are different–those who are vulnerable–is a true indicator of who we are as a society.”