The artist Anna Sew Hoy most often works with fabric and clay, materials usually associated with craft and handiwork, and yet the sculptures she makes are more tough than homespun. Sew Hoy began working with clay in a figure sculpting class in high school, long before she knew she wanted to be an artist, and she is interested in exploring, and playing with, its material properties. She builds her pieces from solid blocks of clay that she takes great pleasure in slapping and smacking to create the off-kilter shapes she prefers. Faceted orbs, large looped pieces that she calls buckles and textured ceramic pieces with holes that recall a hair-covered face with only the eyes showing (think Cousin Itt from the Addams Family) are some of the forms she’s been working with recently.
Anna Sew Hoy Anna Sew Hoy often works with fabric and ceramic as in this recent sculpture entitled “his jeans.”
The apertures or holes in Sew Hoy’s work both create space and frame it, and she likes the resulting nooks and crannies that let the eye travel and see things in new ways. Fascinated by contrasts, she has made some of her hard ceramic pieces soft by wrapping them in fabric skins — often made from jeans stripped of everything but their seams, hems, zipper and waistband — or giving them a velvety flocked surface.