Susan Collettt, Neil Forrest, Rory MacDonald, Linda Sormin
Curator: Jean-Pierre Larocque
October 3 to 25, 2014
Vernissage : Thursday October 2 at 6 pm
Lecture: Friday October 3 at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present Caméléon, the inaugural exhibition of the Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale. The exhibition, curated by Jean Pierre Larocque, features four outstanding Canadian artists from outside Quebec – Susan Collett, Neil Forrest, Rory MacDonald and Linda Sormin. Their work underlines the themes of adaptation, reinvention and metamorphosis within the field of contemporary ceramics. They question and deconstruct the material, its history and traditions and reassemble them in novel, provocative and poetic ways, reminding us of clay’s profoundly chameleon-like nature.

Jean Pierre Laroque is one of Canada’s foremost ceramic artists with an extensive and in-depth knowledge of the field. As guest curator, he was given free rein to shape an exhibition of his choice that speaks to the mandate of the biennale: to celebrate excellence and innovation in contemporary ceramic art. Through the discipline of ceramics, these four artists explore issues of memory, personal and cultural identity, narrative, ceramic history, as well as its interface with architecture and its role in public craft. In Susan Collett’s new series Maelstrom, fragile constructions of paper clay, only vaguely echoing of the vessel form, resemble a kind of elemental choreography made visible. In Transits, Neil Forrest explores ideas about representation, culture and modernity in a series of ships he refers to as nomadic architectural structures that echo of place and history. Rory MacDonald’s use of powdered chalk to decorate the surface of his clay forms, be they vases or floating islands, also speaks to the idea of the nomadic and impermanent, challenging the idea of the ceramic object as a time resistent archive. Lastly, Linda Sormin creates ‘on site’ a free flowing structure that integrates pieces of former work − Neverhole − with new artifacts from the local environment into a unqiue colonization of the gallery space that meanders from floor to wall to ceiling.

While each individual artist pursues a signature methodology and aesthetic, collectively their works share in helping to invent and articulate a ceramic language that playfully shifts the ground. The exhibition catalogue offers insightful texts by Jean-Pierre Larocque and Victoria LeBlanc as well as reproductions of the artists’ works.

The Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale honours the Visual Arts Centre’s historic roots in ceramics. It began in 1946 as a clay collective – the Potters’ Club – which played a significant role in the development of ceramics for over four decades. Five biennales will be held between 2014 and 2022 through a generous endowment from the late Virginia McClure, a ceramic artist in her own right and a pivotal figure in the Centre’s history from 1955 to 2012.

cover biennale web1 Current ExhibitionCaméléon

76 pages (51 color reproductions)
french / english
ISBN: 978-0-9865933-9-0
McClure Gallery, 2014
available: McClure Gallery
$ 24,95 + tx