Fulbright to Morocco 2011 & 2019

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Artist Statement

Plastic is the new ceramics.

I have decided to include two separate but connected bodies of work, both connected to my time in Morocco as a Research Scholar. In 2011-12, I spent a year in the Fez Medina, where I had plastic water bottles cast into ceramic (images one through five). As in many other parts of the world, plastic is the new ceramics; the new material is available for many different purposes, and many more purposes when it is recycled. It is bright, cheap, and durable. It is a global commodity, sometimes made in the country of use, but often not. In this project, I used plastic water bottles as my departure point, casting them in ceramic as an ironic comment on the fact that plastic is replacing ceramic in countries like Morocco.

Images six through ten show a series of collages that I made in Rabat in 2015, on an independent trip, using Moroccan plastic bags as both inspiration and media. This series has the same concerns as the work with the plastic bottles, highlighting the overwhelming impact of plastic locally and globally.


David Packer was born in the United Kingdom and has lived in the United States since 1983, including Miami and New York. He graduated from Bristol School of Art in 1983 and Florida State University, Tallahassee, with an MFA, in 1994. Highlights of his substantial exhibition record include Exit Art and the Garth Clark Gallery, both in New York City, and Navta Schultz Gallery, Chicago. He has participated in international shows in Morocco, France and Japan. As a curator, his work has been included three times in the Spring Break Art Fair. He has also been in residence at MacDowell, Yaddo, the Kohler Arts/Industry program, all in the United States, as well as AIR Vallauris in France and Youkobu in Tokyo. In both 2011 and 2019, he was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar award to research and teach ceramics in Morocco, living in Fez and Tangier. In 2019 he published a book about Moroccan ceramics, The Earth has Three Colors.

When not making art and sheltering in place, David likes to travel (Japan, Paris, Bangkok, the list goes on…) and read fiction; the last notable book that he read was Cathedral by Ben Hopkins. The artist lives in Manhattan and maintains a studio in Long Island City, New York.

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