Margaret Keelan’s influence in the Bay Area can be felt through her timeless dolls, which in turn show the progression of time and technology but also hearken to the unchanging rhythm of nature latest small sculptures recall the “Santos” figures of Mexico and Central America and incorporate a reproduced 19th century doll head. Although the figures echo contemporary concerns, the borrowing of earlier styles gives them more of an ageless quality.
Keelan’s process in the past few years has been to glaze, stain, fire and repeat, to give the surfaces the look of disintegrating paint over weathered wood. Keelan believes this softening and reduction of form–in that its essential nature is revealed–is a metaphor for the process of growing up and growing older.
Her work in the gallery speaks to not only her mastery in ceramics but the strong message she conveys with all her work. The pieces speak to contemporary concerns about the future, our roles as cultural purveyors, and ultimately pays bittersweet regard to the passage of time.