The tiny ceramic paintings in this exhibit reference portrait miniatures from the 18th and 19th centuries that were sometimes used as jewelry and other decorative items, and Delft tiles from the 16th and 17th centuries. The historical context of these ceramic paintings invites a perspective in which they are regarded as objects, while the imagery painted on them plays with the interaction of the viewer with an object and what appears on its surface. The insects on the miniatures are painted to scale and, though they are part of the surface imagery, seem to occupy the same physical space as the viewer, rather than that of the scene depicted. This exhibit also features mixed-media paintings on paper that reference and expand on themes present in the smaller pieces. These pieces explore the permeable qualities of the surface of an image.
The ceramic miniatures in this exhibit have been painted with underglaze on greenware using a tiny brush, and have been reglazed and fired up to three times before reaching their current state. I learned these techniques from my dad, the ceramicist Doug Burbeck, whose own delft tile miniatures were an inspiration for some of the paintings in this exhibit.