Attachment Disorder

Attachment Disorder

There was a developmental psychologist, Mary Ainsworth, who conducted research on what she called the “Strange Situation.” She introduced a parent and child into an environment with a strange stimulus. Some children hovered fearfully around the parent, some vacillated back and forth exploring the new environment, others gravitated toward the unusual stimulus.

Correlating these behaviors with observed home-life bonding between parent and child, she identified categories of lifelong psychological disorders resulting from failure of healthy infant/parent bonding.

I ran away from my roots toward strange new stimuli. As a result my life was filled with many chaotic, unmanageable situations. I was experiencing how easily people fit together and how painfully we fall apart.

I could stress the vessel, tear it, break it, rejoin it. When I finally learned to join pliable wet forms to ossified shards of dry vessels, it was a breakthrough for me, technically and emotionally. Dry clay has already released its moisture and shrunk to a defined form, wet clay is still becoming. Like incompatible people, you put them together and they tend to stress and break apart.

As I worked on this series a Japanese museum curator, Yoshiko Mori, noted the contrast from my earlier very intention-driven work, and asked whether I knew what I was going to make before I began. I realized that I had no idea what I was going to make, but I knew exactly how I was going to go about making it.

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