The Contemporary Art Society’s Omega Fund has recently acquired a porcelain work by Haitian artist Morel Doucet for The Box, Plymouth. Based in Miami, Florida, Doucet is a multidisciplinary artist working with ceramics, print and illustration. Black Death – Crown of thorns entails two Rococo porcelain coffee pots from the series White Noise: When Raindrop Whisper & Moonlight screams in Silence.
As with the other works in this series, Doucet imitates the textures of local flora and fauna. Coral, sea sponges and shells symbolise the local biodiversity in Miami that are at risk of ecological erosion and may cease to exist in the near future. The porcelain itself is fragile, a metaphor for the vulnerability of the African American and Caribbean communities that are most affected, yet often have no input into the conversations around environmental activism.
Each vessel appears to be a representation of an interaction, emotion or state that gives way to larger debates around identity, meaning and value. Black Death – Crown of thorns is engulfed in ecological and socio-economic meanings, from climate change to rising sea levels and the impact of development upon the African Diaspora in Miami.
The Box acquired work by Morel Doucet because of the many connections between his practice and the location of Plymouth, a port city and the museum’s collection. Much of the collection has a maritime theme and there is a large collection of porcelain shell wares. The Box wish to explore the long history of porcelain manufacture, the narratives of migration and identity internationally as there is a large domestic collection of works from the Plymouth Porcelain Factory made in the 18th century.
Morel Doucet (b.1990, Haiti) lives and works in Miami, Florida. Recent Solo shows include African Heritage Cultural Centre, Miami (2019) and Pinkard Gallery, Baltimore (2013). Recent group shows include The Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2020), Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami (2020) and Haitian Heritage Museum, Miami (2019).