Joshua Primmer

<2016 Summer Artist-in-Residence>

Joshua Primmer grew up in Vermont’s countryside off the grid on an organic vegetable farm absorbed in science fiction and fantasy. He first encountered clay during his undergraduate studies which began at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Joshua completed his ceramics BFA in 2001 after transferring to Maine College of Art. After a short stint as a production potter he worked out of his studio for six years and attended residencies at Medalta, Haystack, Domaine du Boisbuchet, and Watershed. This year Joshua graduated with an MFA in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design and now lives in Rumford, RI with his wife and son. He is now the Artist in Residence at Arch Contemporary in Tiverton, R.I. and an employee at Gleena in Pawtucket. In September he will be the Visiting Artist at Albion College in Michigan and will then begin a long term residency at Worcester Center for Crafts in November.

Artist’s Statement

In my work I hope to offer my viewers a moment of reprieve from their hectic existences and allow them a chance to reflect and meditate. I grew up living a self-subsistence lifestyle off the grid in the county side of Vermont on a vegetable farm. As a child, the culture shock I experienced moving between my home and the post-industrial computer age awakening in New England was alienating and overwhelming. In response, I use my work to create and illustrate balance. 

I design using a language of the wheel, speaking a dialect of circles, cylinders, and curves which converge into compositions of peaceful monumentality. The space between elements and the relationships of differing proportions generate balance and clarity. I have recently expanded this dialogue, introducing other processes and materials yet wheel throwing remains the foundation. As a result, material and process are elevated within the overall meaning when in conversation with contrasting methods and substances. 

During my time at Arch I hope to continue to develop the work I first began to explore in my thesis show at Rhode Island School of Design this past spring. While creating the body of work I was exploring Brutalist architecture, urban and industrial decay, and the utopian/dystopian concepts presented in Science Fiction and using these themes to express an environment of peaceful monumentality. This was an intense period of investigation after which I feel some time is necessary to reflect on these ideas and fully evolve my designs into a mature body of work and even apply them to functional pieces.