It is with great pleasure that that we present to you, in conjunction with the Gynocratic Art Gallery, the online exhibition Liquids, Creams and Gels. While the full press release/artist statement can be read by clicking here, I just wanted to take a moment to talk about the artist selections.
Canada is a vast pool of talent and it provided challenges on many levels to distill a group of ceramic artists whose work could work together as perfectly as it did for this exhibition. I wanted to lead with a selection of established/mid-career artists to set the bar for the level of craftsmanship and conceptual prowess I was adamant on exhibiting. Once those artists fell into place and their accomplished wheels started turning, my next challenge was to take stock of the emerging talent this country has to offer. Some of the artists have had a couple years under their belt doing the studio dance, while others are actually still in undergraduate school or are just in the midst of graduating from one of Canada’s great ceramic programs. Extra kudos to those artists who dared to dangle their toes in the water with the “big fish…” it can be a daunting experience sometimes. We hope that you won’t be afraid to continue to do so in the future and that you cultivate supportive relationships with others “under” you who are just developing their water wings. Reciprocity rules.
Like the nature of any liquid, cream or gel, whose actual form is formless until we squeeze it (typically) into a bottle, jar or carton, I cannot give enough kudos to all the participating artists for thinking outside of and/or really abstracting the notions of what can conceptually contain a potion. Knowing a little of the personal back stories of quite a few of the artists and slowly getting to know those newer to me, it has been quite fascinating to see the personal intimacy that most chose to imbue their pieces with. Whether overt or subtle or downright subversive, issues of gender, equality, sexuality, politics and challenges to ideas surrounding beauty bubbled up through all the pieces in the most diverse and varied manners.
In the infamous words f Buffalo Bill of Silence of the Lambs fame, “It puts the lotion on its skin” Now, I know he had something else in mind when he said this, but the notion of slathering, drinking, bathing or dousing yourself in something to make yourself “better” has also been taken to task by the work in this show and they collectively leave no inch of skin uncovered. I hope you take the time to explore, examine and enjoy the fruits of this group’s labor…they’ve squeezed the sweetest of nectars for you.
Huge thanks again to Danielle Hogan and the Gynocratic Art Gallery for co-hosting and supporting this show. As the exhibit unfolds there will be more press to follow up with and keep you abreast of.
Christopher Reid Flock
Caught in the nuance of sumptuous lines of coming to form, this basket is woven combining wet malleable clay and the stiffness of resolve at one time. I present a freshly wet, assembled, vitrified form with a reflective surface to punctuate the leap from wet to the met flash of completion.
"As a young woman growing up in Hong Kong, a place with a conservative culture, I was brought up to think that public display of physical affection or discussion about sex were inappropriate and shameful. After moving to Canada 6 years ago, I’ve encountered a different set of rules and cultures. There has been a constant question in my mind of what is allowed and what’s not.
I’ve learned to embrace and celebrate this attitude. I’ve opened my mind to not see sexuality as something bad or disgusting, and that showing passion doesn’t have to be inappropriate. Even though I am still not comfortable with the topic, by making this new body of work, I was able to explore my limitations. Using my work as a conversation starter and interacting with others allows me to get more comfortable with the subject. I hope it can serve the same purpose for my audience."
Materials: Porcelain, Earthenware, Metal Rod, Color Stain, Color Slip
Approximate Dimensions Swimmer Left: 15 x 8 x 8
Approximate Dimensions Swimmer Right : 15 x 7 x 8
Price: Not for Sale
This piece plays with the idea of discarded and hidden items accumulated in the bottom a city lake or pond. The fish bowl is a portable collection of some of the dangerous, destroyed and beautiful treasures found beneath the surface of the water, buried in the sediment.
Materials: Porcelain, glaze, luster, declas
Approximate Dimensions: 7.25 x 7.25 x 3.5
Price: $180 Canadian + Shipping
Nathalie Waddell's Website
For pricing and purchase information, please click here.
I remember the first time I stepped into my grandmother’s tiny shop. There was the smell of fresh herbs and flowers, leaving me feeling somewhat intoxicated. Shelves covered the walls with apothecary jars. I can still remember her standing in front of a long wooden table, all the while looking so serene.
There was an older women standing in the doorway of the shop, she smiled and asked me if I might one day take over my grandmothers store? She said I had the same look in my eyes as my grandmother.
Maybe I would be the one to continue the family tradition, providing people with the elixirs and sustenance to heal their bodies and souls?
This piece is inspired by the memory of a 4 year old.
Materials: Stoneware, underglaze, rutile, chain and thread and rope
Dimensions: 24 x 9 x 2 3/4
Price: $2500 Canadian + Shipping
Water imagery abounds in writing of all kinds about love and lust, flow and change being the nature of relationships over time. After all, water and love both are tempestuous, soothing, precious, taken for granted and a necessity of life. They are both cyclical, always in motion, whether we want them to be or not. They're both...fluid.
Materials: Cone 6 oxidation stoneware with copper decals
Approximate Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 x 4
Price: $60 Canadian + Shipping
Love and Rejection
Relationships aren't always pretty or meant to last, sometimes there is no desire, no passion and just no love. When those bottles can't be filled rejection is looming nearby. No amount of pink or hearts can fill the holes in rejection.
Materials: Earthenware, fired to cone 04 in an electric kiln
Approximate Dimensions: Bottles: 4 x 2.5 / Tray: 12.5 x 6.75 x 1
Organizing the Vanity
Often counters can be cluttered with all the morning and evening routines. Ritual objects that are used, scattered, discarded, or used to create a kind of armor to face the day. This piece celebrates the daily ritual that everyone partakes in by elevating the objects we use to perform these monotonous, and mundane tasks.
Materials: Mid-fire stoneware, porcelain, thrown, slip cast, press-molded, oxidizing paint,
resin, copper leaf.
Approximate Dimensions: 24 x 9 x 11
Price: $850 Canadian Each + Shipping
Kaleb Romano Website
For pricing and purchase information, please click here.
CHASE BENJAMIN PLOURDE
I was extremely excited when Mariko approached me to be a part of this show! Too be honest, the first time I saw the title “Liquids, Creams and Gels”… I wasn’t sure what to think. But as I thought about it more, I concentrated on the different types of vessels we use to hold our liquids, as well as the different types of liquid we see as important enough to keep in our possession. I instantly thought of the old glass medicine bottles that lined the shelves of general stores and pharmacies in the 1930s. But how could I make these bottles unique? I figured I’d put a twist on their contents! Ever want to grow a beard and have trouble expressing your emotions? “The Amazing Testosterone” is for you! Ever need something to calm you down when you get overly angry about politics in today’s world? Then “Peace in a Bottle” may be the cure!
Materials: Cone 6 Ceramics and Waterslide Iron Decals
The Amazing Testosterone Medicine Bottle (Small)
Approximate Dimensions: 2 x 3 x 5
The Amazing Testosterone Medicine Bottle (Medium)
Approximate Dimensions: 3 x 3.5 x 6.5
Peace in a Bottle (Small)
Approximate Dimensions: 2.5 x 3 x 4.5
Peace in a Bottle (Medium)
Approximate Dimensions: 3 x 4 x 6
Price: $45 Canadian + Shipping
Open Reliquary to the Miracle of Slipping
On this season of aching Valentine hearts, I call forth and venerate an ivory apparition of Slipping from the depths of my domestic life. Failure is teaching and sobbing is preaching. May this soap and dish heal your heartache from the foot or root of its ugly face.
Liquids, creams, and gels evoke many of my daily activities ranging from my morning shower to cleaning bathroom surfaces. I hope to conjure more wicked alchemy to affirm weirdos and queerdos like myself.
Materials: Red stoneware soap dish, hand-carved Ivory® soap, and soap scum
Approximate Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 3.25
Price: $275 Canadian + Shipping
SHAUN PETER MALLONGA
I was motivated by the cheeky nature of this show’s title, “Liquids, Creams, and Gels”, and I wanted to make an object that could lend itself to crude humor, which inspired the Diva Cup. Diva Cup is a coil built goblet that has been shaped and ribbed to look similar to a reusable menstrual cup. The text reading “My Cup of Joy is Overflowing” is one of many jokes that refer to someone menstruating. I chose to focus on period jokes because humor surrounding menses is often brushed off as a grab for shock value, or gender pandering, rather than just a way to make light of a bodily function.
Materials: Glazed Ceramic
Approximate Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 4
Price: $100 Canadian + Shipping
Fascinus Lotion Pump
In ancient Rome the Fascinus, or Divine Phallus, was used to ward off the Evil Eye . . . by ejaculating into the Evil Eye. Now you can ward off the Evil Eye at home, and keep your hands smooth, with your very own Fascinus Lotion Pump.
Approximate Dimensions: 7" Wingspan
Price: Sale Pending
When considering the theme of Liquids, Creams and Gels for this virtual exhibition one idea kept sticking out more than the rest of my brain storms. As a child burn victim I needed extensive skin care treatments to help heal my burn. I remember how the nurses lathered my skin in what seemed like a mountain of cream which was to help soothe the pain and aid the healing process. In creating this vessel that mimics the formal qualities of traditional Islamic pot forms, I made the decision to use the surface as a textural canvas for creating a ceramic replication of what a 2nd and 3rd burn looks like.
By scoring, blemishing, and blistering the external surface of the pot, the piece becomes an uneasy decoration to view. This definitely is in contrast the meticulous nature of ceramic vessel and tile decoration associated with Islamic text and ornamentation. I often associate the discrimination of Muslim citizens as an invisible physical wound that almost heals before another new tear is created. Always in a state of healing and never forgetting the feeling of what it was like to live through that experience.
Materials: Colored Terra Sigillata
Approximate Dimensions: 22 x 15 x 15
Price: $400 Canadian + Shipping
Bum Cracks & Belly Buttons I
Bum Cracks & Belly Buttons stems from a new series of works inspired by the human body. This piece juxtaposes unflattering and non-glamorous aspects of the body with amped-up colour and a hyper-sensual glaze surface. With more than half of its mass comprising of water, the human body is perhaps one of the most dynamic and complex containers of liquids creams and gels.
Approximate Dimensions: 16 x 7 x 5
Price: $500 Canadian + Shipping
Wild Blue Yonder
It's simple really, I like to make things that make people smile. I want to be a maker of objects that through their imagery, evoke nostalgia, innocence and love. Perhaps sometimes a greater narrative or story is lurking in the images sometimes not. Within the whirlwind of a busy life with two young children, my functional ceramics have evolved towards contemporary narrative representations and whimsy. From books and their elaborate illustrative art, to my children’s drawings and imaginations I find inspiration all around me. The reward of this work for me is that young and old find happiness though the work and its engagement with nostalgia, familiar imagery, and an ability to perhaps see themselves represented in the handmade objects that they use.
Materials: Plainsman P300 Clay, Amaco Underglaze, Clear Glaze
fired to Cone 6 in an Electric kiln.
Approximate Dimensions: 13 x 7 x .5
(+ Dianne Lee)
NOVA SCOTIA+ ONtario
This miniature ceramic vessel set is a combination of reinterpreted standardized consumer industry label warnings and a spa day.
To begin my collaboration with Dianne Lee within the theme of Liquids, Creams and Gels, we agreed that sets of objects often have varying fluid viscosities. This gave us the option of creating multiple containers with either obvious or ambiguous functions.
The pieces Dianne had made and sent to me were packaged in a colourfully painted case and neatly placed in foam. Each piece has two components and I later learned from my second phone call with her that the bottles fit inside each other. A container for a container. The function for these pieces were not obvious, but they lend themselves to be interpreted. A common theme that had been discussed for our collaboration was warning labels on product containers. As a person with an allergy to a specific seed oil I am constantly aware of the ingredients in hygiene products. Often having to read the fine print on the back of the bottles. I then decided I would use the vessels to give myself a self-care spa day and draw images of warnings on the pieces instead of writing them in English. This would give the person using the objects an opportunity not only to interpret the use of the vessels regardless of their language but what they should be cautious of when using them. Some image sets read horizontally while others read vertically. The tiny drawings almost become a graphic decoration on the surfaces of each piece.
Spa Day Ingredients:
Materials: Cone 6 White Clay with Black Oil based sharpie
Case 12 3/4 x 11 x 2 ¾
Large Bottle 4 1/2x 2
Medium Bottle 3 ¼ x 1 ½
Small Bottle 2 ¼ x 7/8
Pitcher 3x2 ¼
Crock 2 ¾ x 2 ½
For Liquids Cream and Gels we wanted to take the idea of forbidden liquids and play with the taboo of bodily fluids. In our piece “Fontaine Dorée” we have created a functional fountain that depicts the eroticization of urine. This piece is both a nod to art history referencing Marcel Duchamp’s iconic work “fountain”, as well as the history of porcelain in the bathroom and its link to household sanitation.
Approximate Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 7
Price: $1500 Canadian Plus Shipping
PANSY ASS CERAMICS
CIRO DI RUOCCO
The imagery reflects a time when love was simple. When your team is winning, it’s easy to love them. True love weathers darkness.. it burns through the night.
"We are a team of devils. Our colors are red as fire and black to invoke fear in our opponents."
— 1899, Herbert Kilpin
Materials: Plainsman Clay Polar Ice Porcelain slip, iron oxide transfer, wintergreen oil, Amaco underglaze, Spectrum underglaze, clear glaze fired to Cone 6 in an electric kiln
Approximate Dimensions: 18 x 5 x 15
Price: $800 Canadian + Shipping (Includes light fixture and LED light bulb.)
Too Much, is a response to the constant policing imposed on women and their bodies by patriarchal Western society. In addition to this, I wish to call attention to how much stricter these targeted and ingrained criticisms are on WoC, especially in this current political climate. Thinking about the need to contain, control, and govern women, and how this draws parallels with the stricter and stricter travel laws, this small bottle, in juxtaposition to its decoration, can contain up to 55mL, allowing the user to move with ease through airport security with their liquid, cream, or gel of choice.
I’m so fascinated by the idea of a lady’s vanity table - this weird little private creative space that exists with the ostensible intention of preparing its user for the public, outside world. Cosmetics live at this really interesting intersection of function and frippery, where the sharp tools of technology and aesthetic ideals come to bear on the body’s softest, wettest, most delicate tissues.
Materials: Ceramic, flocking, liquid electrical tape, silicone
Approximate Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 2.5
Price $180 Canadian + Shipping
Amelia Butcher's Website
For pricing and purchase information, please click here.
Dumb Palm, Dieffenbachia
"Beware, [long term relationships] may cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, including intense numbing, oral irritation, excessive drooling, localized swelling and may leave you speechless for days. "
With this series I consider the house plant as a living witness to the most intimate domestic where personal relationships unfold and put forth the historical, medicinal and social functions of each plant species as possible remedies and recommendations for romantic survival. I choose to focus on a potted plant because of its current decorative status. The implied space and relationships beyond the subject may be felt and imagined.
When eaten, the common house plant, Dieffenbachia or dumb palm may cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, including intense numbing, oral irritation, excessive drooling, localized swelling and may leave you speechless for days. These also happen to be the ooey gooey symptoms of love.
Materials: Earthenware, paper, pigment, soil
Approximate Dimensions: 60 x 45 x 9
Price: $500 Canadian + Shipping
It Was All Set up for Her an Online Dating Story
The bread on the table was getting more stale by the hour. After some chit chat we decided to meet. Do you like tea parties I asked. He replied, Yes. Come over, I said, but please take your shoes off once you arrive. He replied, OK. He liked the tablecloth and commented on how organized and direct the tea set was. Thank you I said, my new years resolution is to be more organized. We had a seat. We decided on chairs rather than sitting directly on the ground. We ate some of the food I prepared and pulled the plants closer to the table. A splash of coffee spilled on the table when I plunged the cafetiere. I quickly remembered the note written on the side of the French press and made a mental note of reading the message again non discretely “Add 50ml Then Plunge.” This will be easy to remember, I thought, it’s handwritten not generated text. When I had to pour the coffee I started to panic. I looked on the side of the cup for some direction, “Will Only Hold 30ml” and “Please Stop @30ml” okay, alright, I can do this, I said this to coach myself, I don’t socialize often so these reminders are helpful. Shoot, another splash. The tablecloth is nice and the coffee soaking into the fibers will wash out, I knew that. I asked my guest if he’d care for more jam. He replied, Yes. I grasped the jam jar. I started to use the spoon to scoop the jam into the 22g container, it was taking too long and I felt his eyes on me so I tipped the jam into the container with a little tap on the bottom of the jar. Now there was too much jam.
I topped up my guests cup with coffee and sat the cafetiere down clumsily, it fell to the side and like dominoes knocked over the carton, which is clearly labeled, “Do Not Leave Carton Open!” FUCK, I forgot! I said this to myself then out loud as the milk carton tipped over knocking into the kettle on the way down. The lid from the kettle popped up into the air, and landed in my guests cup, his coffee went all over him, and the hot water from the kettle spilled all over the tablecloth. FUCK IT, I guess I exceeded the kettles capacity of 135ml because the tablecloth was soaked. The coffee and hot water was dripping to the floor, making a sound that was so slow and repetitive it was calming and extremely irritating simultaneously. My guest, dipped his stale bread in the jam on the table and took a bite, grabbed his shoes and decided to leave. I was red in the face with the tension my over organized tea party perpetuated. I blamed everyone but the tea set. It was all set up for me so there was no excuse. I was so optimistic.
Materials: Mixed Media
It Was All Set up for Her an Online Dating Story (And Detail)
Images 1 and 2:
White earthenware, clear glaze, red marker pen, tablecloth, fake flowers, paper, post-it notes, marmalade, toast, chocolate, napkins, orange segments, tea, coffee, water, glue.
It Was All Set up for Her an Online Dating Story (And Detail)
Images 3 and 4:
White earthenware, clear glaze, red marker pen, tablecloth, fake flowers, paper, post-it notes, marmalade, toast, chocolate, napkins, orange segments
Price: 1 x Archival print (Giclee print) 16x20 on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag stock . $160 Canadian including shipping.
Photos: Dianne Lee
Ceramics: Kate Grey
(+ Kate Grey)
Me and Poolio Down By the Schoolyard
Nothing like taking a thermos of something refreshing to the pool to melt the ice from the outer edges of our hearts as the seasonal Canadian freeze ceases to release its grip. Take a sip and then a dip. Aahhhhh, just what Poolio Inglesias would be doing right now with his flock of flamingos at his side. A transformative Tropical Fantasy embodied in clay is what we all need now to blow the frosty thoughts of winter away, I say.
Recreating an object out of clay that would normally be manufactured out of something other materials has been an all-time favorite past time for me. As a huge fan of the Funk ceramic movement, I am drawn to subverting and transforming notions normal, banal even blasé to levels of quasi-absurdity. Are these resulting objects useful? Most definitely not, but the act of metamorphosing, say, a stapler, a pair of binoculars, a giant cordless phone or yes, even a thermos into a Mega Meta Object sheds a sheen of superhero light on what is otherwise passed over as a humble object. Sure, I suppose one could fill this thermos with a cocktail or two, but more so, it is the strange equation and/or inverse proportion of credibility to usability that I like stymieing my unsuspecting viewers with mischievous intent.
Materials: Clay, glazes, china paint, decals luster
Approximate Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 5.5
Price: $1200 Canadian + Shipping