The Marionette series explores motherhood. The teeter-totter decision of whether or not to have children and the mental maelstrom we surrender to once the decision to have them is made. Limbs dangle from wires to suggest the helplessness of a child, and perhaps the way parents become puppets completely controlled by their little ones. These emotionless sculptures explore the idea of living vicariously through a child’s innocent eyes and being controlled by their raw emotions, while having no time for your own. The work is inspired by the joys and challenges of motherhood and influenced by a child’s world.
I use clay as a means to transport ideas from inside my mind, into the outer world. I find great interest in the dynamic interactions of the subconscious and conscious forces in the mental life of a person. My ceramic figurative sculptures draw the inner child within us, with its use of bright colors and its whimsical nature. Though after close examination, ones’ innocence is surrendered to the world of adult emotions.
Kelly Berning received her B.F.A. in sculpture from California State University, Chico and M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has exhibited her work in solo and juried exhibitions across the nation. When she is not teaching, she is taking care of her little ones during the day and working in her Port Orange studio at night with her husband Trent Berning.