Maya Blume Cantrell

A native of coastal Alabama, Maya has always drawn her aquatic inspiration from the gulf and bay waters that surrounded her as a child. In addition to the water and its abundant life forms, plant life and its unique anatomy has provided much of the basis for her work. The flowers, seeds and figures that exist in such a variety of forms and shapes, provide infinite possibilities and combinations for vessels. With these life forms in mind, both marine and terrestrial, the pieces become vessels of unique form.

As if capturing a snapshot of a single space in time, these vessels are caught at the point of being brought to life or spewing forth an entirely new life as if an unknown flora is being blown in the breeze or tossed about in the current. Each piece seems to be stretching out of its confined, comfortable womb reaching up for the sunlight, as if affected by the outside elements.

These vessels are a combination of animal and plant, figural and still life. As if memories have come together to create a new flora as yet discovered, the sculptures give life to new creations that are reminiscent of remembered, familiar plants, pods, and buds, just as each new child possesses glimmers of not only parents and grandparents, but family in all directions as far as the memory serves.

Just as the plants grow leaf by leaf, and the girth of a tree is expanded ring by ring, these pieces are grown coil by coil, slowly reaching up towards the sky. The pieces are each acted on by water, air, and the passing of time. As the previous coils harden and begin to dry, another layer is able to be added. In this way, the vessel captures what is present in the imagination.

From a young age, Maya was always encouraged to express her creativity and expand her horizons. After beginning a study of architecture, Maya discovered her love of form and shape. Realizing she found the sculptural aspects most intriguing, she transferred to a full time art student. Once her hands found the clay, she knew she had found her medium. Since graduation from Auburn University with a BFA, she has continued to explore the infinite possibilities of clay, and has been a celebrated contributor to many art collectives, galleries, workshops, and charities.
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