Michael Layne grew up in Port Antonio where he was strongly affected by that parish’s lush plant life, its sea coast studded with rough coves, its turquoise surf and its generous rains. He often expressed a fascination with the qualities of earth and mud which abounded in the rainy season.
Layne chose to specialise in ceramics at the Edna Manley School for Visual Art. While he learned the traditional Jamaican and international styles his restlessness with convention led him to experiment.
Much of Michael’s work consists of large bottles or bowls assembled with clay slabs and decorated with oxides of slips, and single fired. An architectural pattern from the slab’s assembly often gives the impression of fragmentation despite a general unity of form. Some have seen this as Michael’s philosophy of post-modern society. The artist himself is more reticent, and simply talks about the satisfaction of new clay creations, the use of familiar forms, the raw texture, and a power of communication which his pieces evoke in himself and those who view it.Recently his work has taken a new direction. Returning to his home town of Port Antonio, he has found inspiration in its architecture. He creates clay images that reflect these disappearing vintage homes. His images are met with delight by those who remember their national heritage and ‘country origins’. PA-S 2000