Terms and Conditions
Welcome to TONGUES, provided by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (“we”, “us”, “our”). Access to and use of this website (“TONGUES”) is provided by us on the basis of a number of important terms and conditions, which are set out in full below.
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Changes to Terms
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© TONGUES — An initiative by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd


Privacy & Cookies Policy
The tongues.cc website is operated by Voodoo Voodoo Ltd (‘TONGUES’).
This privacy policy applies to TONGUES.
We want you to enjoy our website and services secure in the knowledge that we have implemented fair information practices to protect your privacy. By visiting our website, you are accepting the practices described in our privacy policy, including our use of cookies and similar online tracking technologies. If you do not agree to the terms of this privacy policy, please do not use the website.
TONGUES may change this policy from time to time by updating this page and you should regularly check to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy was last updated on 11 February 2020.
The policy outlines:
1. General principle
2. How we collect information
3. Types of information we may collect
4. How we use your information
5. How we protect the information we collect
6. Access to your personal information
7. How to contact us
1. General principle
There are two types of information we may collect from you when you use the website: non-personally identifiable information and personally identifiable information. Non-personally identifiable information does not individually identify you, but it may include tracking and usage information about your general location, demographics, use of the website and the internet. Personally identifiable information is information that you voluntarily provide when you set up a user account, subscribe to a newsletter, or query that can individually identify you and may include your name and email address etc.
We do not link non-personally identifiable information to your personally identifiable information.
We do not share either type of information unless required to run the website and services (see third-party services below). We will never sell either type of information.
This privacy policy does not apply to any information collected outside of the website, including offline or through other means (for example, via telephone or through email), unless otherwise stated below or at the time of collection.
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Links to other websites, social media platforms
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our website, you should note that we do not have any control over the information that is collected and shared about you. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
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The types of information we may collect includes:
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The information we collect may be used to help us:
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Disclosure to third-party services
As part of providing our website and services to you we use a limited number of third-party services that perform functions on our behalf, including but not limited to website hosting, server monitoring, tracking user behaviour, marketing automation services, and customer service.
We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of these third-party services and encourage you to read the policies of the services we use below:
TONGUES uses the MailerLite marketing automation service to issue newsletters. Find out more about MailerLite’s Privacy Policy and Terms.
When you subscribe to our email newsletters
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We will use the email address you provide to send you a weekly or monthly email. We also send occasional updates and, no more than once a year, reader surveys. 
The email address/es you provide will be transferred to our external marketing automation service ‘MailerLite’ for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms. We use MailerLite to issue our newsletters. We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for, the conduct, practices or privacy policies of MailerLite
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe link’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected]. If you want to review and correct the personal information we have about you, you can click on ‘update preferences’ in the footer of emails you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected].
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We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. We have taken reasonable measures to protect information about you from loss, theft, misuse or unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. No physical or electronic security system is impenetrable however and you should take your own precautions to protect the security of any personally identifiable information you transmit. We cannot guarantee that the personal information you supply will not be intercepted while transmitted to us or third-party service providers. 
Sharing your personal information
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Data transfer
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6. Access to your personal information
You may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you by submitting a written request to [email protected]. We may only implement requests with respect to the personal information associated with the particular email address you use to send us the request. We will try and respond to your request as soon as reasonably practical. When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. 
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the information held is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading. 
7. Contact us
If you have any questions about our privacy policy or our use of your information, please contact us at [email protected].

Elyse Pignolet

October 04 / 2022


Working primarily in ceramics, Elyse Pignolet’s work has been inspired by numerous social issues and urban themes. Her works attempt to relate the traditions of ceramics and the permanence of the medium to the fleeting and transitory nature of the contemporary world. She has completed several public art projects including three large murals at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco and the Gaffey Street Public Swimming Pool in Los Angeles’ San Pedro neighbourhood.


Q >Can you tell us a bit about your life history? And at which point working with ceramics has come into it?

A >Born in Oakland, California, I’m an American with Filipino heritage and I now live and work in Los Angeles. Yes, I work primarily in ceramics. I was lucky, I was introduced to clay very early and I never really left it. Ceramics for me has been there since the beginning and eventually it was what I studied in university. The California Clay Movement was before my time but people like Peter Voulkos, Ken Price, John Mason, Robert Arneson, Ron Nagle, Michael and Magdalena Frimkess, and Viola Frey really carved a path for the medium and were early influences for me.

Q >Where do you find inspiration? Tell us about the themes you pursue and what kind of research is behind your work.

A >The ceramic sculptures I create are composed of an array of tiles, plates, vases and tulipieres inspired by the extensive history of ceramics, and traditional porcelain decoration from around the world. The works in my recent blue and white series contain familiar patterns and motifs, emblazoned with commentary on highly-charged issues for women — such as female transgression and empowerment, sexual harassment, cultural stereotypes, inequality, and the dialectic between feminism and misogyny. 

Pottery that may be read at first glance as familiarly decorative, delicate and classically influenced, upon further inspection reveals images and text containing politically confrontational, unapologetic messaging. Artworks are imbued with traditional techniques and patterns with unsettling, suggestive innuendos and tropes that are all too common in our language and culture. 

My research and inspiration for my artwork comes from very varied influences, from the news to historical texts and letters, from poetry and art history, to contemporary literature, essays, and quotes, to contemporary music, and through my own personal experiences. 

Q >Reflecting on identity and travel — what are the places you feel attached to? How much of your personal experience influences your work?

A >I’ve mentioned how global ceramic traditions have influenced my work and I feel the same about travel. Travel is very important to me and being immersed in another culture continues to be a source of inspiration. However, grounded during the pandemic I created my solo exhibition: I’m Not Like the Other Girls. This exhibition expands on past themes, while pushing toward a new, more personal, direction. Included in the exhibit, is a large ceramic installation, Second Sex: A Monument to the Otherness of Women. While the installation is one large sculpture of its own, each smaller piece is also created to stand alone. Included, too, in the presentation is Chinoiserie-style wallpaper, watercolour paintings on paper, and mirrors set within a ceramic frame. This exhibition was in response to being in isolation over the many months of the pandemic, as well as a reaction to the shooting of eight people at the Gold Spa in Atlanta, Georgia.

I had a real personal response to the Atlanta shootings when it happened. I began to really think about what it means to be an Asian American woman. There was a lot of discussion in the media at the time, if the shootings in Atlanta were gender- or race-based shootings. For me, these two ideas cannot be separated. This body of work was really a way for me to confront and try to process sexist, racist misogyny that is all to present in our society.

Embedded in the mirrors and ceramic pieces I created messages intended to quietly unfold. Words, phrases, and images draw attention to the denigrating language women face. The word “bitch,” which is commonly used today, the historical context from the 1400s, was meant to demean and to other women by calling them less than human. 

Images of fists grasping keys, with the ends of the keys pointed outward through the fingers, and small handheld sticks or plastic contraptions allude to the advice women get on how to defend themselves while walking alone. The language that is surrounded by feminine, decorative elements are speaking to a world where women need to be on the defensive against abuse.

Included in the show is a mirror piece with the text: “EXOTICAF” etched in the glass. This artwork deals with the idea of language as a tool of othering but references art history — mirrors have been included in a variety of paintings/artworks throughout history and the symbolic meaning of mirrors in art is ambiguous. Two apparently contradictory themes emerge: one associated with the virtue of truth and the other with a perversion of truth.


I’m Not Like the Other Girls (installation view).
Track 16 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


Q >From contemplation to engagement — as an artist who tends to channel socio-political messages in your work, tell us about the importance of text and other representational elements you use.

A >To think back to 2016 and Trump was newly elected, I was upset by the political environment and all that was going on at the time in this country. There was a big shift in my artwork as well. I felt an urgency to be bold and more political in all aspects of my life. Also, during this time when I happen to be looking back at historical global ceramic traditions, a new global feminist movement never seen before was happening with the viral social media hashtag: #METOO. I began my blue and white series appropriating blue and white ceramic traditions from across the globe, while commenting on the current events of the #metoo movement. It was my reaction to the flood of news concerning the daily reports of accusations of specific men by women. 

Engaging with social issues through my art is my way of confronting current political and social injustices. I really think about the language of social inequality, which feels more and more important in an increasingly divided society.

Q >Do you think that artists can play a role in shaping social consciousness and maybe even inspire people to question and change their beliefs?

A >Exactly, following on from the previous question, that was exactly what was so inspiring by the #metoo movement: the women directly played a role in shaping the social consciousness, which did inspire people to question and make real changes. I like to think of myself as an optimist, but I do often wonder how an artist working in clay can really make a difference. As I mentioned, my art is my way of confronting current and social injustices, it is really how I think and process the world around me and it can be a cathartic experience. When I exhibit my art I hope that I can create space for a conversation and that the work I create has a universality to it.

Q >If you had to choose only one piece out of all the artworks you’ve created, what would it be and why?

A >Well, that’s a tough question. What would I be choosing this artwork for? I guess, I choose: I AM a WOMAN, a mural examining the experiences of contemporary female life. Consisting of over 500 tiles, this 18 x 10 foot mural portrays women today. From the mundane daily rituals to the politically transgressive, a theme of female empowerment runs throughout the broad-reaching depiction. Images and texts of sex and childbirth, self-identity, tropes, self-care, pop-culture, trauma, and motherhood are all utilized in order to examine the dialectic between feminism and misogyny. The viewer will confront this transitory everyday language frozen onto a permanent ceramic object.

Q >What do you have in store for the future? Are you currently working on something new?

A >The overturning of Roe v Wade in this country was not at all surprising but it was and is still heartbreaking. The need to visualise my experience of the world and the current political climate continues, while also examining certain historical texts, has led me to consider the voice of women and the public domain through a historical lens — as a long complicated history rather than understood as just simple misogyny. 

I will continue to investigate just how deeply embedded in Western culture the mechanisms are that silence women, that refuse to take them seriously, and that sever them from centres and positions of power. 

We must keep marching on… 


Elyse Pignolet attended California State University, San Francisco, studying Fine Arts. She completed her BFA degree in ceramics at CSU Long Beach in 2007. Her studies included an intensive ceramics tour through Mainland China, and she also attended the International Ceramics Biennale in Korea. She was awarded a CSU Long Beach Travel Scholarship for Art, and travelled to Lisbon, Portugal to study traditional tile murals. Pignolet was awarded a fellowship to Ballinglen Arts Center, Ireland.
Her works have been featured in several contemporary arts publications including the LA Weekly, Juxtapoz Magazine, The Huffington Post, KQED, Ceramics Art + Perception, LoDown Magazine, Artillery, Art and Cake LA and the Los Angeles Times.


Images courtesy of © Elyse Pignolet

Adjust to Injustice, 2021. Ceramic with glazes

Second Sex: A Monument to the Otherness of Women, 2021

Second Sex: A Monument to the Otherness of Women, 2021 (detail)

Second Sex: A Monument to the Otherness of Women, 2021 (detail)

Exotic AF, 2021. Etched mirror, plaster, and ceramic with glazes

I AM a Woman, 2019. Ceramic tile mural (over 500 tiles)

Elyse Pignolet