American artist Joy Brown who spent her early childhood in Japan, is now living and working both in Connecticut and Shanghai. Her full-bodied figures echo the Japanese pre-historic Haniwa figures. The Asian influence in Joy Brown's work reflects her early life in Japan and the rigorous discipline of a four-year traditional Japanese apprenticeship in ceramics. In over forty years of work with clay, Joy's forms have evolved from early vessels and animal shapes to these friendly human-like forms in clay and bronze.'
Joy Brown's rounded life-like figures have a universal spirit of harmony and optimism. People from all walks of life respond intuitively to these pieces, resonating with the warmth, serenity and wonder that the work conveys.
My work reflects the influence of the Japanese aesthetic resulting from my childhood in Japan and apprenticeship in traditional Japanese wood-fired ceramics. In this rigorous discipline of apprenticeship, working with clay and wood firing became a way of life, defining for me an aesthetic that guides my work and life.
For 40 years, my work with clay challenges and nurtures enriches and transforms my life. The work has evolved from vessels and animal shapes to the human-like forms and abstract wall reliefs of recent years. The changes, over time, come out of my relationship to the materials and process - the clay, kiln, firing and my changing intentions.
For the past 20 years, I have also been working in bronze, recently in China, making larger-than-life-size figures for public spaces. Whether it be pots, sculpture or wall relief murals, bronze or ceramic, the forms I make are a tangible reflection and expression of an evolving inner self. My figures remind me of a peaceful place in myself - calm, open, aware. There are beauty and power in their quiet simplicity. I am now working in Connecticut, US where I built my studio and 10-meter long Japanese style wood-firing tunnel kiln.