Trent Berning

Artist Statement

My work is a celebration of the mysteries and magic of life. I am enticed by the awe and wonderment of the functioning body and our perceptions of intangible experiences. I express the mystique of vitality through surreal inspired compositions and by the tangible interaction between the maker, the object, the user and the observer. Formal inspiration for my works is found in juxtapositions that create a heightened visual experience. Some of these elements are ancient perfume bottles with highly ornamented tops that explode from the vessels; which convey growth, transformation, and reflections of internal strengths. Others compare the gritty tactile experience of raw earth to the tension of voids between objects that intrinsically take on humanoid characteristics. Conceptual inspiration is drawn from the enigmatic gift of individuality. This is expressed through both questioning one’s physiological permanency, while still embracing a united instant. This is referenced through images of the human body/bones, optical illusions and by the symbolism created through the use of utilitarian pieces that speak of camaraderie and of the communal experience of shared time. I find the human mechanism and the experience of living life to be a great ambiguous adventure. This adventure does not necessarily need to be explained but relished through the charisma of existence. I enjoy the idea of the equivocally unknown and allow my imagination to fill in the blanks between how and why.

About the Artist

Trent Berning earned his M.F.A. in ceramics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is now The Chair of the Mike Curb College of Music, Entertainment and Art and an Associate Professor of ceramics at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida. Professor Berning and his work have been featured on numerous television programs including Southern California Life and Live at Five, and in publications such as The Village News and Clay Times. In addition to teaching, Trent has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions across the nation. When he is not teaching, he is busy creating in his Port Orange studio and spending time with his family.

Past Exhibitions at Arts on Douglas: