Heidi Earnshaw Design & Susie Osler Ceramics at Garhard Supply - TODO Festival 2017 - January 16-22, 2017Read More
New Work at Studio 2 of the Perth Autumn Studio Tour. October 10-12
Much as I love all of the seasons, I think Autumn in Ontario takes the cake for me. There is a richness in the light, a silence, clarity and calm to the air. The wild, extroverted energy of summer shifts, settling downwards - introverted and concentrated in subterranean landscapes. Plants are shoring up energy in their roots. Animals are donning their winter coats. Attention is moving inward. In a similar way I find myself compelled to making work that mines my interior depths - from the rooted particulate of my psyche and the season.
Objects for the Hand and Heart is a new series of quiet, intimate objects and assemblages that invite reflection, contemplation, and touch. Inspired by relics, shards, mementos from nature and things that embody the potency of talismanic objects and shrines the series explores how objects can hold a compelling but mysterious energetic power. Ceramic elements form the foundation of the pieces to which other media are added. The heart of them comes from the land here.
If you attend the Perth Autumn Studio Tour this year you will notice a change in my studio. I'm aiming to transform my space into a place for pause that is more of a gallery space than a crowded shop. Work will include these sculptural pieces, drawings, small editions of things, and other curiosities.
I hope your curiosity compels you to visit Studio 2 on the Perth Autumn Studio Tour!
Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada). October 10-12 (Sat-Mon) 10am-5pm
The richness of spring is for me an exuberant time of abundance, promise and hope but also an exercise in non-attachment. It invites me to notice new sounds and presences, and to celebrate in the life-filled transformation of my surrounds. Yet it is fleeting. For me the intense surge of joy brought to the season by birds is tinged with the somewhat tragic awareness of its eventual demise.
Birds. To me they are the spirits inhabiting the verge between earthly and heavenly realms - animating the air with movement and song and coaxing me to revel richly in the present. They represent Anima which in Latin can mean air, wind, breath, breath of life, soul.
Becoming aware of the transience of time somehow helps to ‘fatten’ each moment. In its exuberance and ephemerality, birdsong, like the flush of greens and blossoms that unfold in the landscape, is a constant reminder of the passage of time.
This work reflects on how death and life are in some way united and examines the very human tendency to try to capture, contain, and hold onto moments/things as mementos - specimens, photos, objects - and on how by doing this ‘alive-ness’ may be lost.
Birds are having a tough time with the challenges we humans have thrown at them and their numbers are declining rapidly. I fear a time where the voices and feathers so familiar to me, will be accessed only through documents, memory, and mementos.
THE PIECES FOR THIS EXHIBITION ARE NOW POSTED IN THIS GALLERY.
Somedays...many days in fact, it can be truly hard to feel that the work one does as an artist has any relevance to the world outside one's own imagination. Yet the impulse to continue making what one feels compelled to make keeps creative types of all kinds stepping up again and again to the studio, to the instrument, to the page.
After a week spent in Toronto at the Interior Design Show, surrounded by a lot of (often beautiful) manufactured stuff - from high end faucets, to lighting and flooring - the relevance of the hand-made, 'small batch', and spirit-imbued 'things' whether it be tables, plates, or songs has never seemed clearer. Over and over, we (Heidi Earnshaw and I) saw people's faces lighting up as they walked by, and heard what an 'oasis' our booth was. How rewarding.
In an age where machines make and run most everything, people truly seem starved for a renewed connection to the things they live with - the story of where something comes from, an association with the person who made it, and evidence of and care taken by the maker's hand. I am lucky to be a maker. it is a privilege. And it is refreshing to feel again a sense of purpose in doing what I do.
We are set up and ready to roll at Toronto's Interior Design Show! My new work, inspired by this winter season is being featured at Heidi Earnshaw Design, Booth #2128. Heidi's incredible furniture is timeless, elegant, and beautifully designed and made. I am honoured to be part of her booth this year.
The ceramics featured in the booth include a set of plates, tumblers, and cylinder vases. These are the introduction to a new series, Traces, I've been working on recently. They are meant to be elemental yet somewhat refined, reflecting the winter season that we are currently experiencing. I have been enjoying the spare crisp palette of winter where I live (rural eastern Ontario), marks in the snow that indicate patterns of movement made by wind or footsteps, the skeleton forms of stripped down plant structures, and the calm, somewhat contained essence of the season. Some of these elements have found their way into this new work.
I hope some of you in Toronto will stop in and visit. The show details are here. General public days are Saturday and Sunday.