Coriolis I, II

The Coriolis force describes the effect of the Earth's motion upon itself, or the movement that occurs because the Earth rotates. We see the Coriolis force in the Gulf Stream and ocean currents, and we feel it in the blowing wind. It is movement resulting from movement: a ripple effect across our world, because our world is spinning.

The installation Coriolis is built by hand in the exhibition space with unfired clay that is harvested locally. By consisting of locally harvested clay, the piece emphasizes the movement and change within the viewer’s own everyday life. It is not necessary for the clay to travel some great distance to arrive on site, yet its change in form mirrors the change that occurs all around us on a day to day basis.

The clay adapts to the space in which it exists. The piece meets and fits into every corner, nook and rise, filling all of the space available. Built wet, the drying process begins the moment that the first piece is laid on the floor. This shrinking never allows the piece to be still. The long-term drying continues to occur throughout the exhibition, shrinking as it does so, causing cracks, curves and scuffs across the space. Like a glacier--seemingly still before our eyes but constantly creeping down the mountain--Coriolis too is in constant flow. It shrinks, turns and pulls away from its surroundings as the sun moves across the piece day in and day out, making each moment that Coriolis is experienced unique as it contributes to its drying. Even after the piece is dry, the sun will never meet the piece at the same time in the same state in the same way. Following the display, the clay will be disassembled, broken down and rehydrated to be used for another purpose by another artist, never again offering the same experience.

The lines that make up the form of Coriolis create dynamic, visual movement, and while the clay is constantly shrinking and shifting from the moment that it touches the floor, it does not swirl along with the eye of the viewer. Coriolis is about innate motion--both upon and within itself--and it asks us to consider what is in motion within ourselves. It is about transitional moments and the balance of that which is in constant change. It is about transition, accumulation and transformation. This work is about your experience, my experience and it is about how we each grow, collect and change as the things around us do the same.


Because of Coriolis II, Alida received the nationally renowned Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship at the Cranbrook Art Museum in 201 6.
The third rendition of Coriolis is currently displayed at the World Ceramic Center in South Korea as part of the 9th World Ceramic Biennale and received the Bronze Prize at the event.

Photos of the installation process in South Korea can be found here

Back to photos:
Coriolis I
Coriolis II
Coriolis III