My exhibition Eruptions is open to the public at the Art Gallery of Burlington in Burlington, Ontario, August 3 until October 27, 2019. An opening reception will take place on Friday, September 6 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. I will be in attendance.
Eruptions expands on my investigation of felled trees and forest fragments, collected, studied, transformed, and memorialized in porcelain. I use the tree as a metaphor for the body. Through clay, I apply an archaeobotanical lens to the biological imperative of existence. My works stand in for what once was and become artifacts of the metamorphosis and history of a living (and dying) organism.
At the installation’s centre sits my Pyre series, which makes reference to funerary rituals and the important historical role ceramics has played in providing for the afterlife, vessels being the most common objects found at ancient burial sites. My vessels suggest fungal growth, necessary for the process of regeneration. Elsewhere plumes emerge from porcelain tree fragments in my Eruptions series. These vessel-like, apertured forms allude to recumbent bodies, earth forms or even volcanoes. The plumes’ ghostly counterparts hang on the wall.
The micro crisis of survival reflects the macro. The media uses words like eruptions, plumes, and pyres in descriptions of current environmental catastrophes, such as wildfires. The forms in my installation represent earth, body, vessel, fuel, and fire simultaneously. A beaded, root-like Lifeline provides a measure of optimism suggesting support, nourishment, and the potential for new life.
Through the irreversible process of firing, my forms unwittingly create their own memorials when clay is turned into permanent ceramic.