Earth, Water, and Fire

Works by Lisa Battle

June 11, 2021 - July 18, 2021

Ventures Gallery

Opening Reception: Friday, June 11, 2021 (5 – 7pm)

Artist Statement

My hand-built sculptures explore organic form, line and an undulating movement that is reminiscent of the sensual curvilinear grace of natural objects and landscapes.

I am inspired by the patterns created by the forces of nature, found in walks along the seashore observing shifting sand patterns created by winds and receding waves; in my travels through the American southwest among desert cliffs, canyons and formations of weathered rock eroded by wind and water; and in the shapes of plants and the human body. I also have a life-long love of dance, and often find that my work evokes the gestures and arching movements of a dancer. In my exploration of form, I pare down these natural shapes to their essence, accentuating smooth clean lines to achieve simplicity and elegance. Sometimes I feel that I am capturing a close-up, intimate view of something larger. The resulting forms evoke aspects of the natural world without specifically representing them, leading to a sense of ambiguity that I find is central to human experience. 

I love the sensory experience of working with clay, and the expressive possibilities created through this malleable material. The forces of nature are also essential to the creation of my work, as my sculptures are exposed to the transformative powers of wind and fire in the wood kiln. The wood firing process leads to surfaces that have depth and subtle variations of texture and color, imparted by the movement of wind and fire through the kiln. The result is both a visual and tactile experience in which the surface is inherently integrated with the form.


Lisa Battle is an artist who creates a distinctive style of abstract sculptures by hand-building with stoneware clay. She explores form and line in three-dimensional space, inspired by patterns created in nature through wind and water erosion, and the graceful arching movements of dance. As a viewer moves around the work, the lines advance and recede, giving an undulating sense of movement. The subtle surface treatments of her work are derived from atmospheric firing techniques, including wood firing in a multi-chambered Noborigama kiln and pit firing.

Lisa began working with clay about 13 years ago after completing a masters’ degree in psychology. Her sculptures have been shown in juried exhibitions in the Washington, DC and New York metro areas, including several shows at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists’ Coalition, juried by curators from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA.

Lisa lives and works in Maryland, where she is a member of the wood fire community at Monocacy River pottery near Frederick, Maryland. She is a former trustee of the Baltimore Clayworks, a resident artist at The Clay Co-op in Rockville, Maryland, and a member of the board of the Washington Sculptors’ Group.


Image: “Sanna”  hand-built from stoneware clay, sprayed glaze, wood fired to cone 10 in Noborigama kiln by Lisa battle