Problematica is the term given to geological specimens that defy categorization; they may be true fossils of organic origin or specimens that merely resemble once-living things. They are objects of unknown origin.
In the microcosm of the kiln, artist Sarah Briland generates her own problematica. By translating "disposable" materials such as plastic bags, packaging, foil and foam through casting processes akin to fossilization, Briland envisions a new era of the geological record: a synthesis of manmade objects and the natural forces transforming them. Utilizing sculptural methods that mirror accretion, crystallization, and lithification, she enacts and witnesses the metamorphosis of matter by the geologic forces of heat, gravity, and time. Her work seeks to investigate on an intimate and personal scale the incomprehensibly vast span of geologic time.
About the artist: Sarah Briland received and M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and a B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has been exhibited nationally including shows at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and The Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, VA. She has taught at Virginia Commonweath University and Virginia State University. In 2004, she was an Emerging Artist-in-Residence at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Briland lives and works in Richmond, Virginia.