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Follicles | Cells | Biota

“Haitian-born ceramicist Morel Doucet’s series Follicles | Cells | Biota manipulates clay and color to examine relationships between descendants of the African diaspora and the physical environment, specifically drawing a parallel between the world’s dying coral reef systems and Global Black environmental vulnerability. Doucet argues that the current political climate has caused issues like racial discrimination and disenfranchisement, which pose the most apparent danger, to overshadow pressing problems posed by urban decay, pollution, Climate Change and other conditions that contribute to the ecological instability and inviability.” - Curator & Writer, Niama Safia Sandy

Through the use of clay, Morel simultaneously expresses beauty and anguish while reflecting on issues related to race and the decaying environment. Unifying elements from land and sea, Morel amplifies the socio-environmental experience of the African diaspora, particularly Afro-Caribbeans, through ecological metaphors of Black fragility, skin bleaching and colorism.

Inspired by scientific research, environmental research and personal experiences, the title, Follicles | Cells | Biota refers to an ecology of systems that examines the relationships between organisms and their physical surroundings. Together, the title and artwork provoke conversations about people of color and their complex relationship to their physical surroundings. Through intensive detailed labor, Morel constructs beautiful and fragile ceramic pieces that mimic the current state of our dying coral reef systems as a representation of Black fragility. As a result of our current political climate, people of color have been forced to prioritize social and political issues, like racial discrimination, segregation, and disenfranchisement, which pose the most apparent danger to their livelihoods and environment. Decaying buildings, polluted air from factories and crowded living conditions make up the ecological environment of inner city Blacks, while suburban whites have an ecological environment that reflects more suitable living conditions in terms of greener communal spaces and adequate city maintenance. These two ecologies - coral reef systems and the Black community - bare the weight of unforeseen circumstances of waste pollutants and lead poisoning at the hands of environmental policymaking. 

Although navigating the world as a Black Man is full of anguish, Morel still sees the beauty in his fragile existence, the same way he sees beauty and hope in a dying environment. Follicles | Cells | Biota aims to envision a new environmental renaissance in which the African Diaspora have the agency to play an active role in reclaiming the health and autonomy of their communities; so that their living conditions do not become a sentence to an early, systemic, and intergenerational death. If, as a global collective, we can come together and save the Great Barrier Reefs, then there can be hope for the African Diaspora. 

Yemaya’s Kiss
Media: White Stoneware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimension: 20 x 18 ¾ x 8 in
Year: 2016

Pink Manifesto
Media: White Earthenware, Wood, Glaze & Acrylic Stain
Dimension: 20 inches dia.
Year: 2016

Left: True Blue (Melancholy)
Right: grisaille Nightfall (Pink Wave)
Media: White Earthenware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimensions Left: 15.5 x 14.5 in x 4 ¼ in
Dimensions Right: 14.5 x 12.5 in x 5 ¼ in
Year: 2016

Flotus
Media: Glazed Porcelain & Wood
Dimension: 15 X 15 inches
Year: 2015

Follicles
Media: White Earthenware, Terra Cotta & Underglaze
Dimension: 12 2/4 x 14.5 x 6 1/4 in
Year: 2016

Left: Ode to Ọṣun
Right: Caribbean Hue (Watercolor Courage)
Media: White Stoneware Ceramics, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimension Left: 21 x 15 ½ x 7 ¼ in
Dimension Right: 24.5 x 18 x 5 ¾ in
Year: 2016.

Details

Grisaille Nightfall (Pink Wave)
Media: White Earthenware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimensions: 14.5 x 12.5 in x 5 ¼ in
Year: 2016

Solar Flare
Media: White Earthenware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimensions: 8.5 x 8 x 8 in
Year: 2016

Ode to Ọṣun
Media: White Earthenware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimension Left: 21 x 15 ½ x 7 ¼ in
Year: 2016

Submerge
Media: White Earthenware, Wood & Synthetic Flora and Fauna
Dimension: 22 inches dia.
Year: 2015

Moonlight Coffee
Media: White Stoneware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimension: 12 x 13 ¾ x 5 in
Year: 2016

Caribbean Hue (Watercolor Courage)
Media: Terracotta Clay, White Earthenware & Porcelain
Dimension: 24.5 in x 18 in x 5 ¾ in
Year: 2016

Right: Yemaya’s Kiss
Left: Ode to Ọṣun
Media: White Stoneware, Glazed
Dimension Right: 20 x 18 ¾ x 8 in
Dimension Left: 21 x 15 ½ x 7 ¼ in
Year: 2016

False Memories
Media: Ceramic, Wood, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimension: 20 inches dia.
Year: 2016

True Blue (Melancholy)
Media: White Earthenware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimensions Left: 15.5 x 14.5 in x 4 ¼ in
Year: 2016

Left: Iridescent Yellow (Sicilian Chinoiserie)
Right: Memory (Avocado Stained)
Media: White Earthenware & Glazed
Dimension Left: 12.5 x 10.5 x 6 in
Dimension Right: 12.5 x 12 x 6 ¼ in

Iridescent Yellow (Sicilian Chinoiserie)
Media: White Earthenware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimension: 12.5 x 10.5 x 6 in
Year: 2016

Floaters
Media: Glazed Porcelain & Wood
Dimension: 15 X 15 inches
Year: 2015

  Black  Media: Stained Terra Cotta Earthenware & Wood Dimension: 22 inches dia.  Year: 2015

Black
Media: Stained Terra Cotta Earthenware & Wood
Dimension: 22 inches dia.
Year: 2015

Memory (Avocado Stained)
Media: White Earthenware, Glazed & Acrylic Stain
Dimension: 12.5 x 12 x 6 ¼ in
Year: 2016

Details