Silence, calm and quiet are inexorable components of Tony Lattimer’s work demanding vast, preferably natural spaces in order to establish a dialogue of subtle correspondance between forms which are apparently similar, but which are individually endowed with expressive mechanism of references. These evoke the experience of infinite perception of the Zen garden in which one is never allowed a view from which one can see all the mountains of rock. The spectator becomes physically involved with the work in a personal meditative experience which makes demands on all the senses. Passing through the installation from various view-points Lattimer’s forms seem to undulate, almost dance and continually assume new structures. The grace and the lightness of his abstract forms (large vessels endowed with plant, animal and human references) and the apparent instability of the calculated asymmetries make his work compatible with the natural environment which feels almost as if his structures had been created by elemental shaping by the atmosphere. His work emulates the original earth with a slow process of formal distillation, assuming the openings as a vase or flower disposes itself to the welcoming of the sky in a gesture of conciliation.
Made by coiling, which itself requires time to stiffen in order to support the next layer, thus working on three or four pieces at the same time, it takes many weeks. During this period the work seems almost to grow and evolve in form and process, independently of the will of the artist.
Profoundly anti-intellectual, Lattimer’s installations demand of us an immediate form of perception in a timeless suspended dimension and, as with Land Art, persuading us to rediscover the wonder of forms and natural elements from which we have been alienated in our artificial contemporary daily lives. Minimalist in spirit, but not in form, Lattimer’s sculptures invite us to appreciate things for what they are without filters or prejudice, in an optimistic hymn to beauty and truth which to reveal itself requires a moment of quiet stillness. To have an intimate appreciation of these works requires time.
Curator of Contemporary Ceramics
International Museum of Ceramic Art, Faenza, Italy