Places

Playing With Fire

‘wedge, coil, pinch, throw, cast, mould, sculpt … and ultimately push the clay to its limits.’

So reads the wall at the Museum of Anthropology’s current exhibit: Playing with Fire. Ceramics of the Extraordinary.’ The diverse range of featured artists are pushing clay to its physical and thematic limits – some experimenting with intricate techniques, others using simple objects to represent deep injustices.

‘My cousin Fred got me involved with the Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March,’ writes contemporary Cree artist, Judy Chartrand, ‘and when I heard the names of all the women who were lost, including my own sisters. I felt anger – not the kind of anger you have when you beat someone up, but an anger that was more of a sadness, knowing what they could have been. They never had the opportunity to have dreams, to have pride in their culture or in their background. When I created the bowl, I decided to include the names of all the women.’

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Judy Chartrand. In memory of those no longer with us. 2016

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Chartrand has also created a piece dedicated to Louis Armstrong and his 1967 singing efforts aimed at easing racial and political tensions. ‘White people were telling people of colour to ‘go back’ to where they came from,’ says Chartrand. ‘The text on the bowl shows that racism is still around us.’

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What a Wonderful World, Go Back To Your Own Country. 2015

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Playing with Fire. Ceramics of the Extraordinary is a moving, thoughtful exhibit which refreshingly pairs pieces with words from their creators.

Artist Ying-Yueh Chang writes of the influence that both Taiwanese culture and Western philosophies have on her work and her interest in hybridized materials. ‘I combine elements from the natural world,’ Chang writes, ‘to create works that are symmetrical and asymmetrical. From hybrid forms inspired by organic material and imagined objects, my work comes together through a hands-on process, evolving into forms completely different from the initial object.’

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Ying-Yueh Chang. Cross Series #3. 2008

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Ying-Yueh Chang. Flower Series. 2015

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Jeremy Hatch. Shoe Toss. 2013

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Brendan Lee Satish Tang. Manga Ormolu Version 6.0. 2016

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Alwyn O’Brien. What To Do With All These Blues. 2014

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Alwyn O’Brien. A Matter of Shadows. 2017

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Treehouse. Jeremy Hatch. 2016

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Written by Elizabeth Newton
www.creatorsvancouver.com

 

 

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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton