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Curated by Melanie Egan
March 9 – June 2, 2019
Curator’s Tour: Friday, March 8, 5:30–6pm
Reception: Friday, March 8, 6–9pm
This exhibition is modelled on an anti-souvenir shop, one in which artists are motivated to act upon, react to or declare what they deem significant and worthwhile through the media of ceramics, jewellery, painting, furniture, and sculpture. How their ideas are defined and represented largely depends on their view from here. “Here” is a relative term; it may be a physical or psychological space, a continuum or a moment in time. Views can be deeply personal, introspective, or borne out of discrete experiences and research; and some may symbolize larger collective meaning, shaped by notions of community. … read more
The titular play on words of Sage Paul’s Re-dress (Redress) brings to mind the themes of sovereignty, truth-telling and resistance that are central to her work. The imposing caribou antlers, labouriously beaded, draw upon her powerful connection to thousands of years of making and deep relationship to the land. Each bead represents an act of protection, defiance, and love that challenges the systems of appropriation, injustice, and colonization.
Senior ceramic artist Léopold L. Foulem, CM, takes the long view from here. He has been at the vanguard of contemporary ceramics for over 50 years. It is the extensive history of ceramics and the entire canon of art that Foulem draws upon to present provocative objects redolent with kitsch, content and commercial glazes that critique and pillory social, artworld, and political norms. Foulem’s legacy and research are a testament to ceramics’ shift from marginal to mainstream within contemporary art.
Emerging artist Denise Smith follows in Foulem’s trailblazing path. She, too, is influenced by ceramic history, referencing traditional figurines, kitsch, and the ubiquitous ceramic souvenir. In her series On the Trail, Smith uses commercial molds and glazes of animals and flora dripping with nostalgia and cutesiness. The lightheartedness of Smith’s ceramic works serves to draw the viewer in, only to reveal a less-than-natural experience in our national and provincial parks.
Working in the tradition of plein air painting, Nicole Bauberger looks back while driving forward. Bauberger traverses the highways of Canada in her truck, stopping every 50km to paint and document the landscape. Each painting (always the same size) becomes a visual diary and record of her encounters with the road — like postcards picked up along the way to commemorate a journey. “The road plays a central role in the way we experience the landscape, especially as Canadians,” Bauberger says, “It’s our commons, a common ground of culture and experience as well as use.”
Paul McClure and Louise Solomon use the visual vocabulary of contemporary jewellery to comment on the roles identity and ornament hold in their views from here. Central to Solomon’s view is her grounding in Mother Earth and the teachings of her grandmother. With a background in sculpture, Solomon sees jewellery as a way to scale down her ideas and engage with the body on an intimate level. She makes beautiful, sophisticated jewellery that embodies the spiritual and cultural values of her Ojibway traditions, matched with a contemporary urban aesthetic.
Paul McClure re-views and re-presents a series of seminal jewellery pieces he made at the beginning of his career, during the height of his activism and coming-of-age as a queer artist. His jewellery is a personal and corporal commentary about the body—as physical site and topic—leading to a profound viewing of his pieces on both a macro and micro level.
Oscar Kwong views everyday objects as mediators that bring balance to our spirit and the natural world. To dwell with objects is both a physical and psychological experience. Kwong’s objects and furniture create meditative environments that capture the beauty of the present moment. Zenboy, Kwong’s avatar, is an extension of his practice; there to remind us to take pleasure in our daily interactions with objects.
British ceramist Edmund de Waal said that craft has the ability to go deep into people’s lives, is catalytic, crosses boundaries and changes perceptions. It is these artists that continue to define and expand the dialogue between art, craft and design by presenting views intended to evoke deeper thought and consideration.
– Melanie Egan
Nicole Bauberger’s art practice varies. Finely honed skill in oil painting, begun over a five-year apprenticeship in the 90s, roots her artwork. And yet she will use encaustic, acrylic, clay, glass, beadwork, teabags, doilies and crochet yarn, research and writing, or songs on the ukulele, as required. Bauberger’s shows have toured public galleries since 1999. The full version of this project, Get There from Here, will appear at the Art Gallery of Peterborough this April, and the Grimsby Public Art Gallery in June.
Bauberger grew up in Peterborough and has made her home in Whitehorse, Yukon, since 2003.
Léopold L. Foulem, CM, received his MFA from Indiana State University. He has had a prolific exhibition career with fifty-five solo exhibitions and more than two hundred group shows held on four continents. His works have been exhibited in forty-eight museums and public galleries and are included in twenty-five museums and public collections. Foulem considers himself a ceramics theoretician. He has given numerous lectures on the autonomy of ceramics’ plastic and conceptual language. He received some prestigious awards, including NCECA’s highest distinction, the Award of Honorary Member of the Council, and recently was made a member of the Order of Canada.
Léopold L. Foulem is represented by David Kaye in Toronto.
Oscar Shu Hao Kwong (b. 1992 in Taipei, Taiwan) is a product designer and holds BFA in Industrial Design from the OCAD University. Since graduation he has been part of Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence Program. This opportunity allowed him the space to firmly and independently establish his sensibilities. In 2017 he was admitted as part of The Bauhaus Lab, an annual program examining the transcultural legacies of the school. This experience led him to better understand and appreciate the weighted messages which objects carry. Currently his work examines the poetic spirit that spans all our cultural artifacts, and attempts to translate these feelings through the expression of our everyday objects.
Paul McClure is a Canadian artist and designer of contemporary jewellery. His work is represented in private and public collections including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Canadian Museum of History; Design Museum of Barcelona; and National Museums of Scotland. He studied at NSCAD University, Halifax, Canada (BFA, 1989); Escola Massana, Barcelona, Spain; and National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland (MA, 1999). McClure exhibits and lectures throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He is professor and program coordinator for Jewellery Studies at George Brown College in Toronto. In 2015, McClure received the Saidye Bronfman Award, a Governor General’s Award, Canada’s foremost distinction for excellence in the visual arts.
Paul McClure is represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h in Montréal
Sage Paul is an urban Denesuliné woman based in Toronto and a member of English River First Nation. Sage is an award-winning artist, designer and recognized leader of Indigenous fashion, crafts and textiles, centring her work around family, sovereignty and resistance for balance. Some of her work has shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s First Thursdays; The Centre for Craft, Creativity and Design (North Carolina); Western Canada Fashion Week curated by Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective (Edmonton); and most recently at Festival de Mode & Design (Montreal) and Ohtaapiahki Fashion Week (Calgary). Paul received the Design Exchange RBC Emerging Designer Award and was recognized as a Change Maker by the Toronto Star and a Woman of Influence.
Denise Smith is a ceramic sculptor from Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is a graduate of the University of Regina’s MFA program (2016), and received her BFA degree from Lakehead University (2010). Smith has participated in several international artist residencies such as the Medalta Historic Clay District Artist-in-Residence Program in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. She has presented lectures and workshops at several notable institutions and has exhibited her work across Canada as well as internationally.
Louise Solomon (Ojibway from Nawash FN) is a multimedia artist and goldsmith that takes inspiration from Mother Earth, her culture, and growing up in downtown Toronto. She explores modern techniques while still incorporating and drawing inspiration from raw materials like hair, claws, teeth, sweetgrass and other organic mediums.Solomon studied Studio Art at the University of Guelph where she received her BA and then continued her studies at George Brown College for Jewellery Arts. She is the founder and owner of a successful jewellery company, Hand of Solomon, where she produces high-end engagement rings, wedding bands and statement jewellery-art that reflect her Indigenous culture.