Saya McNairn-Yanagi

Saya's latest collection of work has been created around the theme of 'Transformation' and continues on from her inspiration of the Trickster character that exists in almost every culture. The narrative elements of Trickster's shape shifting abilities and the disruptive creativity is always in Saya's work.

Saya has recently completed an artist residency in Japan where she was influenced by the rich and revered history of ceramic art but also gave her a chance to explore her Japanese heritage, to understand the influences and beauty seen through another culture's perspective.

The environment surrounding Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, had the biggest impact on Saya. The beauty of the surrounding forests and rice fields, the nature trails and the breath-taking Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, influenced her. With nature as her guide, Saya's theme of transformation took on a more subtle approach. In life we may crave for sudden changes in good fortune, but in reality, and the ideas of Zen Buddhism (so influential in Japanese Art) these changes take a slower but more purposeful journey.

Saya's work expresses the initial stages of transformation. The 'kitsune' (Japanese word for fox) is familiar in Japanese's folktales for turning into a beautiful woman adorned in a Kimono. However in Saya's mind the fox starts with a scrap of cloth, which the fox has the talent to transform eventually into a beautiful kimono, an art form in itself. The Inari Kitsune is a messenger to the Gods; here he holds a key, the traditional shape for the rice grain store. The fox brings the key when the people need it.




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