Tricia Cline b. 1956

Tricia Cline was born in Sacramento, California. As a self-taught sculptor, she has been working for over 20 years from direct observation of female and animal forms. Her small, highly detailed porcelain clay sculptures are complex metaphors describing humans’ relationship to animals and to themselves as… animals. Cline’s method of observation without mental interpretation is influenced by the writings of psychologist James Hillman, who in his book “Blue Fire” describes a dream featuring a great black snake. Interpreting the meaning of the snake upon awakening (or restricting the vast Unknown to what is Known) will kill the image, cutting off any path to a transcendent Reality.


Cline’s most recent body of work, “Exiles in Lower Utopia,” is an ode to reconnect with our own animal perception, thereby heightening our knowledge of both who we are in the moment and an awareness that is infinitely vaster. “An animal is its very form. Its function is its form,” writes Cline. “A dog runs at full speed, a distinct scent or sound alters its direction. The legs, the nose, the ears of the dog are its function, its bliss. When an animal recognizes another animal it reads with an instinctual eye the character in the form- the essential nature in the form before it. Its text is not a concept about what it’s looking at but a full-bodied response to the shape, smell, movement, and stance of the image in front of it. The language of animals is the language of images. An image is not an idea with a defined meaning.”