Mari-Ruth Oda is a Japanese artist based in Manchester, England. Her serene, emotive sculptures reflect her fascination with fluid lines and natural forms, in materials such as jesmonite, resin and ceramics. “My work says more than I can with words,” she explains. “The processes of art making allows me to find a meditative mind space, where thoughts can flow and dissipate.”
Oda studied 3D design and later completed an MA in ceramics. “I found I cared more deeply about what the work conveyed than the materials themselves, so the shapes became my focus,” she says. Her inspirations range from the contours of the human body to the soft arcs of a peach; bones interest her because they are both hard and soft and she often finds herself enamoured with the minute curves of beans.
Each project begins with key words or an intention — to create something calming, for instance — followed by rough drawings and small experiments in clay. These intimate, hand sized maquettes allow Oda to express her ideas in a three dimensional language and to reach a point of resolution, which can precipitate larger works. Oda always seeks to imbue her sculptures with peaceful, positive energy. She does not create narratives around her work, but hopes it resonates with people on an intuitive level. “I’d like people to respond to my work as they would to a pebble on a beach,” she says, “as something they are inexplicitly drawn to.”