CoughlinPatrick Coughlin received his BFA from Syracuse University and his MFA at The University of Florida. Patrick has been a resident artist at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and Genesee Center for the Arts, and has exhibited work nationally and internationally. He has lead demonstrations and been a visiting artist at many institutions such as the University of Montana, Jacksonville University, and Roswell Art Center. Prior to moving to Philadelphia Patrick lived and worked in Jingdezhen, the ceramic center of China. As an assistant in the design studio he worked with local craftsmen in the production of design goods for a global market. Also in China Patrick assisted in the management of the Education Center where he facilitated international exchange and instruction. His work has primarily focused on objects of material culture and their relation to process, heritage and domestic spaces.

Artist Statement

Our relation and perception of labor, its purpose and value in contemporary society, has greatly shifted in last two decades. Information now exists at fingertips, yet as a culture we have collectively forgotten much. We live in an age of “scientific magic” where even the most basic processes of life are so removed from laymen understanding. Technology and globalization have created systems that make our perception and origin of material culture so opaque that we have lost the dignity and beauty of labor.

My studio practice is both elegy and ballad, depicting the hidden beauty and value in the knowledge of process, and the joy of committing it. The act of making becomes a baroque performance of my own heritage; working with dirt, tool and sweat of brow. Objects of material culture have a history of knowledge hidden within it’s: form, purpose, and workmanship. By exposing the disparate perceptions and hidden knowledge of the everyday objects of our life I am refocusing the question of the role and status of labor. The work acts as an aide-mémoire of the dignity and beauty of processes and techniques that have been easily usurped by the empty glamour and effortlessness of modernity.