B I O
Molly Streiff is a ceramic artist from the Midwest. By creating forms out of clay and addressing the surface with a variety of hand drawn and painted imagery, she is able to create a narrative on each piece. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2017, and will be attending the University of Montana Missoula in the fall of 2017 to achieve her Master of Fine Arts. She has won numerous awards including Departmental Honors, the Chancellor's Merit Award, and the Howard W. Lyons and Alice Tweed Tuohy Award, as well as competitive scholarships such as the Olive and Anna Tezla Scholarship and the Edith and Glenn Nelson Memorial Scholarship for excellence in her field.
S T A T E M E N T
Stemming from past experiences, my current body of work has become a way for me to understand the complexities of death and the relationship we have with those who pass away. While investigating the myths, traditions, and rituals of various cultures, it became clear that death is a taboo subject in Western society. This fueled my desire to bring it into the light and encourage thought and discussion around the matter.
My forms are inspired by reliquaries from various religions. These containers serve to house the remains of saints or ancestors for the use in ritualistic practices and ceremonies with the belief that the relics were magic or holy. I am drawn to these ceremonial vessels that transform the contained objects from morbid to sacred. After seeing a series of reliquaries in person, I was inspired by the seductive force that pulled me in yet simultaneously repelled me.
My work ranges from sculptural vessels that command attention to more intimate pieces that create silent reminders with each use. Using imagery inspired by medical illustrations from the Victorian era, botany, traditional tattoos, and curiosities, I create narratives that relay a different experience with death by exploring vulnerability, decay, growth, and our innate fascination with the grotesque and the unknown. Through this work, I aim to remove the negative associations with death and to highlight the beauty that can be found within the repulsive.