James Tisdale

Southern Peacock

Austin, TX
Clay, mineral pigments, glaze

“The figure is a natural vessel to express the narrative of my thoughts, feelings and views. My subject matter relates to the South and deals with how others view only its surface and stereotypes. This series, “The Painted Ladies,” speaks of the beauty that is found by those who are willing to go beyond the surface – to take a closer look and understand the deeper human condition that exists within us. Artists such as Toulouse Lautrec painted and explored a society that others deemed unsuitable. Little did the rest of society realize that these women would exist forever in some of the most prestigious museums in the world and be elevated, studied and admired by millions for their true beauty. This painted lady figure titled Peacock stands with pride, strength and self-confidence – much like a peacock. The eyes of the shirt represent the inner persona, a marriage of both the ugliness and beauty that makes up who she is. I use clay for the organic, sensual qualities it possesses. It is a material that lends itself to the human form and provides a canvas for me to paint with clay pigments and glazes, bringing another layer of life to the work.” James Tisdale has a BFA from the University of Mississippi and an MFA in ceramics from the University of Georgia, Athens. He has held residencies in Italy, China, Hungary and the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana and has led workshops both nationally and abroad. Tisdale is currently the ceramic coordinator at The Contemporary Austin, a modern art museum in Austin, Texas. He has received grants and awards, and has been reviewed and published widely. His work is represented by galleries and is in numerous collections.