David Scott Smith Ceramics
Poison Flower, Star Flowerdetail of Poison Flower, Star Flower (illuminated porcelain)detail of Poison Flower, Star Flower (piece with porcelain illuminated)Poison Flower, Feral Poison (detail of the piece unlit)Poison Flower, Feral Poison (detail of piece illuminated)Poison Flower, Orange Boom-BoomPoison Flower, Feral Bloom (with porcelain illuminated)Poison Flower, Feral Bloom (detail of porcelain illuminated)Poison Flower, with Garfish and PineconePoison Flower, with Garfish and PineconePoison Flower, Blue Flower (detail unlit)Poison Flower, Agro Poison (detail unlit)Hot Mess (detail unlit)Hot Mess (illuminated)Palissy inspired Garden Anole PlaquePalissy inspired Anole with Branches PlaquePalissy inspired Garden Gecko PlaquePalissy inspired Fence Lizard PlatterPalissy inspired Anole Platter with Reptile Skin RimChicken GodRaku RoosterRaku RoosterRaku RoosterPheasantPalissy inspired Platter Palissy inspired PlatterPalissy inspired Bullfrog PlaqueSurrealist Crawfish Manifesto #1Surrealist Crawfish Manifesto #2
Feral Gardens, 2014-2016
Feral Gardens is a body of work that has developed over many years; this work was obviously inspired by my life-long interest in the study of nature. These ideas also have strong ties to my experience working for my step-father in the taxidermy studio. The imagery and design of much of the work was also influenced by my grandfather, who owned a chain of flower shops and taught floral design at the local community college.

However, the initial ideas for the actual pieces began to germinate when I was first introduced to the work of Bernard Palissy (French ceramic artist, 1510 -1590), and how he constructed idyllic portraits of natural systems (ceramic versions of ecosystems, very similar to the taxidermy displays found in a museum of natural history). In much the same way that Palissy created compositions depicting ideal scenes in nature, I have been creating work that focuses on nature, but without removing the influence of human activity.

I have explored land all over this country, from Southern Louisiana and Florida to remote areas of Montana and Alaska (and just about everything in-between), and have discovered that I am unable to find anything ‘pristine’ or un-touched by the human hand. The remote corners of the world have all been manipulated and changed by human activity; the wildest places 100 years ago are now tamed with roadways, convenience stores, and mini-malls. I once explored the Atchafalaya Basin in a pirogue – in addition to seeing snakes and alligators I also saw a half-submerged dishwasher and a floating diaper.

However, life is tenacious. Nature quickly reclaims what we abandon -- vacant buildings are consumed by vines and termites, empty lots become over-grown jungles, and animals of all sorts thrive in the ruin and rubble of our neglect and waste. Although far from pristine or un-touched, the wildest places I’ve enjoyed exploring have been on the fringes of cities (or sometimes even within the city).