Constance McBride is a figurative ceramic sculptor. A native of Philadelphia, PA, McBride relocated from the East Coast to the Southwest in 2002 and resides in Phoenix, Arizona. Her work has been represented at the Las Cruces Museum of Art and Udinotti Museum of Figurative Art. Recent exhibitions of her work include America's Clay Fest III in Roseville, CA, Visions in Clay 2015, in Stockton, CA and A Show of Heads in Hudson, NY. McBride received a Bachelor of Arts from Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. She was included in the 2014 edition of Phoenix New Times 100 Creatives and her work is featured in the international platform Ceramics Now, the publication Paperclay Art and Practice by Rosette Gault and Who's Afraid of Feminism, a Women's Caucus for Art production. McBride is active in the vibrant downtown Phoenix arts community, serving as a co-president of eye lounge; a collective, artist run space on Roosevelt Row and as a board member of Artlink.
The effects time has on our bodies and my evolving emotions concerning them are what drive the direction of my work. My focus on aging and the human body has been evolving for some time. I am not always happy with what I see in the mirror and camouflage what I see as flaws; perhaps behavior of the burden of growing up with a beautiful mother. Or, perhaps a combination of her influence as well as the barrage of media images presented to me as a young girl. In any event, I am attempting to create work that punctuates the complexity of life as we age. It seems that most of what I am doing right now relates to my mother's life with Alzheimer's disease, my reactions to watching her live through it, slowly deteriorate and then ultimately lose her life to it. And now, the aftermath; a meditation on change and loss.
I work with clay slabs that I roll out by hand. I enjoy the tactility of clay and the fact that it is the earth's most primal element. It contains ashes of the dead thereby making it directly connect to the living. The color effect of pastels is closer to natural dry pigments than that of any other process. They've been used by artists since the Renaissance and colored chalks have been used for thousands of years. I’ve just recently begun using graphite as a surface treatment; a semimetal native element mineral that is appealing in that it adds yet another layer to my pieces. By working with these mediums, I am attempting to reinforce a direct connection to earth, to time and its passage and to our place in it.