Driven by ideas of time, memory and migration, Patricia Sannit works “by feel.” Drawing upon a lifetime of travel and a fascination with archeology and history, Sannit uses reclaimed clay to create earthy, complex assemblages that are simultaneously ancient and modern. “Pattern making is very one-world,” she says, referring to the geometric shapes she inscribes and scrapes into the clay. “We are all just trying to communicate. We are all trying to make it better.”
Describe your three-step creative process.
A. Middle of the night imaginings and early morning problem solving. During those liminal times, ideas often emerge and technical solutions appear.
B. Doing. Making. The material encourages me to give it a try.
C. Returning to step one until I am happy.
What’s one vacation/destination you always tell your friends to add to their bucket list? Why?
Ely, Minnesota. Because canoeing in the Boundary Waters is elemental, serene, beautiful.
Tell us about your all-time favorite piece in your home.
We have a wonderful collection of carved, Ethiopian head-rests.
Tell us about the artists you look up to most.
In my studio, I hear a kind of “voice of direction” from, among others, Louise Nevelson, Ana Mendieta and Lucio Fontana. I love their relationship to the materials and the way they embrace accidental discovery.