The fabric processes I began exploring for creating three-dimensional works also correspond to the images that are being created by having my 3-D porcelain tree-forms photographed in the round, each image stitched together and the whole stretched flat, resulting in an espaliered landscape of sorts. I am grateful for the collaboration, ingenuity, and skill of Michael Zajac in producing these non-orthogonal images of my porcelain trees. The image seen in the JDZ Tile series represents one section of one of my stacked porcelain tree forms. Art critic Steven Leyden Cochrane describes the result as, “a two-dimensional, 360-degree view of a Nickel’s sculpture, made using a photographic process originally developed to document the scenes and texts painted on pre-Columbian Maya vases. It skillfully complicates our physical and historical relationships to ceramic vessels.”
The three tiles were shown at the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba in the School of Art Faculty Exhibition, March to June, 2015 and subsequently at Actual Gallery, Winnipeg, in a three-person exhibition titled, Heat, September 4 to October 31, 2015.
The digital image created by using non-orthogonal photography was used to create large ceramic decals in Jingdezhen, China during my residency at The Pottery Workshop. In the JDZ Tile series I experimented with varying the tile surface to see what the final effect would be: unglazed super-white porcelain, glazed middle-white porcelain, and finally, unglazed porcelain with the PVD (physical vapour deposition) process.