Michele Collier graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. A career as a traditional illustrator honed her observations about how the human body expresses itself non-verbally. Years of drawing from live models has given her innate knowledge of human anatomy in motion. Since breaking away from two-dimensional work, Michele has pushed boundaries and broken rules to bring that movement to her new medium of clay. She creates her figures from this place of deep understanding about how the human body moves through space. Layered upon this technical knowledge is a desire to give voice to the instinctual in all of us. Her strong female figures call to mind the androgyny of Michelangelo. They move to a rhythm based on emotion.
I look for the edge where consciousness leaves judgment behind. I want to cultivate that moment in the creative process when I trust my inner self completely. Paper clay is a medium that can accommodate my process. It can be stretched, compressed twisted and torn to match the image in my imagination. I work to preserve the fluidity of the slab while manipulating it to express the figure. The clay remembers every touch and each piece faithfully preserves the evidence of its birthing process.
I plan each piece with a series of sketches before ever touching the clay. Only when I can feel what I want, do I begin my unique construction process. As I stretch and compress the clay, I feel as though it comes to life. The surface of the slab becomes the very human-like surface of the sculpture. I am always careful to let the clay express itself, and to stop before I have over worked it. I want to preserve the spontaneity of form. With clay slabs, the unexpected is my constant companion.
BFA, Academy of art University, San Francisco, CA
four years of targeted study on how the human figure moves through
space and expresses itself non-verbally
Advanced Sculpture, Susannah Israel, Laney College
two years of study and guidance to adapt my knowledge of the human
form to the medium of clay
Advanced Sculpture, Andree Singer Thompson, Laney College
one year study of new clay mediums. This experience is the basis of
my innovative work with paperclay slabs.
i teach workshops throughout the year which are announced on facebook and my newsletter.
I am currently represented by
CALIFORNIA FINE ART, La Jolla CA
COASTAL EDDY GALLERY, Laguna Beach, CA
MAHDER GALLERY, Healdsburg, CA
THE ATTIC, Camus, WA