Aneta Regel is content to create objects that others may interpret as rough and unfinished. Even though she creates with clay, she rejects the notion of calling herself a potter. Furthermore Regel disregards the concept that her creations ought to serve a utilitarian purpose.
Aneta Regel is a sculptor who happens to use clay, fire, and glaze to build her sculptures. In contrast to traditional sculptors, the human figure does inspire Regel. Instead Regel recalls memories from the landscape of her childhood of Gdynia in Northern Poland.
During her youth, Regel studied to be a pianist, as explained to Elle Decor. However, during her studies Regel did not feel she was adequately expressing herself with just music. Instead she felt driven to create objects to completely express herself.
It wasn’t until Regel began practicing in London that she became nostalgic for her homeland. Her emotional connection to the natural environment serves as a direct inspiration.
Through her sculptures, she returns to childhood memories of nature. Regel challenges herself to not just copy the items as they naturally exist, but to capture the natural world and her experience within it.
At times, Regel will add a surreal layer to these objects by incorporating myths, legends, and folkloric tales from Poland. Or even adding transfers of images to her sculptures, taking the narrative beyond the sculpture itself.
The sculptures with image transfers add a great layer of curiosity. Surely Regel had a certain memory or feeling in mind that she wanted to impart on the viewer when creating these sculptures.
Regel creates her sculptures using stoneware clay for its durability and then adds igneous rocks, volcanic material, and basalt in their natural state to her sculptures.
Once the clay is fired inside the kiln, the igneous rocks will often return to their liquid lava form. In order for the clay to reach its finished state, the rocks and additional components become unfinished.
Each sculpture is fired several times before being deemed complete. Aiming to capture movement and the constant transition of materials, Regel adds material and continues moulding the sculptures between firings.
The ways in which the fired clay and igneous rocks interact makes for intriguing and unpredictable results. The use of these materials allows her sculptures to have flaky layers and knobby protrusions that add to the wonder of her sculptures.
If not for the colors Regel adds, one might believe these to be organic debris found outside in its natural habitat. Colors range from faint neutral colors to intense, highly pigmented colors.
The color variation in Regel’s work isn’t meant to be a direct reflection of nature. Alternatively the colors are meant to reflect emotions rather than the natural subject.
Regel received her Masters from the Royal College of Art in 2006 and has exhibited extensively. Regels’ exhibition at Jason Jacques Gallery recently came to a close. Her work appears in public collections such as The Westerwald Museum in German, South Korea’s World Ceramics Museum, and the PCI Fitch.
Regel is a member of both the Royal British Society of Sculptors and the Craft Potters Association.
We look forward to seeing what comes next from this wildly creative sculptor!