Kelly Devitt’s work explores contained emotions, self-silencing, and the inner tensions that develop in both stressful situations and in everyday life. She conveys these ideas by using the concept of skin acting as a barrier and a translator of emotion. When people feel happiness, anger, or embarrassment our skin reacts and shows others that there is a greater emotional response stirring inside of us. In a way this action acts as a betrayal to our mind. The inner tension grows as the emotions that we have tried so hard to keep locked up, escape.
These pieces are meant to provoke an emotional response by putting physical tension on display. Either by placing the work on the most delicate surface or by stretching patches of clay over the exterior to mend wounds, there is a sense of unease that is activated. They look as though they could pierce the surface that they are placed on or even come to life and walk away using its hundreds of legs. This idea of implied movement creates a whimsical yet disturbing look into the physical attributes of quiet anxiety with the comparison of skin crawling.
Kelly Devitt holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Iowa State University and is working towards her Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. In the past she has worked as a Ceramic Research Assistant for both the ISU Computation and Construction Lab and the ISU Integrated Visual Arts Department. Her research explored Cone 6 and High Fire glazes, the use of different clay bodies and consistency in ceramic 3D printing, and her personal work explores sculptural forms focusing on the concept of skin serving as a dispatcher of emotion.