You Are Me II A masterful enormous porcelain vessel from the 2016 solo exhibition, You Are Me, at the Ottawa Art Gallery 56l x 25h x 56d cm
You Are Me
The original You Are Me installation was exhibited in 5 venues:
2016 Ottawa Art Gallery
2017, les échanges d’énergies, Le Centre d’art, La Sarre, QC
The installation then travelled to my solo
2017 Compassion, Centre Materia, Quebec City, QC
2018-2019 Taiwan Ceramic Biennale, Humanistic Return: The Spiritual Origins of Ceramic Art
2020 Art Gallery of Burlington, ON
"My practice is rooted in the relationship between process, material and meaning. I am interested in the exchange of energy that is essential to life, be it intrinsic or extrinsic. The energy at the molecular level that attracts or repels particles of clay is invisible to the eye, but the effects are apparent. I have developed a process of working in which the juxtaposition of clay and glass creates another layer of tension, allowing me to test the limits of endurance and resilience within the form of the porcelain vessel.
I am drawn to how these ceramic materials and processes have affinities with the human condition; how we respond and engage with the injury of experience - within, with each other, with the other. By embracing wounds, deeper meaning can be brought to our lives, transforming suffering into something worthy, sensuous and beautiful.
Tu es moi
Ma pratique artistique découle des liens qui existent entre matière, processus, et signification. Ce sont d’ailleurs les échanges d’énergies essentielles à la vie, qu’ils soient intrinsèques ou extrinsèques, qui m’intéressent. Pour moi, bien que la force moléculaire attirant et repoussant les particules d’argile ne soit pas visible à l’œil nu, ses effets sont évidents. Le processus de travail que j’ai développé et par lequel je juxtapose l’argile et le verre crée une tension additionnelle qui me permet de tester les limites de l’endurance et de la résilience de la forme du vaisseau de porcelaine.
Je suis attirée par les liens unissant la céramique, ses processus, et la condition humaine. C’est pourquoi j’explore par mon travail artistique les réactions et
interactions personnelles et communes que nous avons tous avec les blessures de la vie. Les accueillir permet d’impartir une signification plus profonde à nos vies. Ainsi valorisée, notre souffrance se convertit en objet de beauté et de sensualité."
Return to the Nest - Retour au nid From the 2022 solo public exhibition La Traverse at Galerie Le Rift in Ville-Marie, Québec (Temiskaming region) – (February-April 2022).
Ceramic and mixed media wall sculpture that hangs in straight descent or side-swooping orientations. Light in weight despite its large size, it can hang from the wall or, two-sided, from the ceiling. The carved and painted wood has paper-thin porcelain figures captured in the resin apertures that are painted with equal detail on both sides. The glossy surface magnifies the depth of the surface detail.
180 cm x 110 cm x 6 mm, 2022.
"Barn Swallows are the only species, other than bacteria and viruses, to have evolved alongside humans, taking the advantage of adapting to nest on human-made structures like barns and covered bridges and foraging for insects in open farm-land."
Scientists have predicted that due to the increasing melting of the sea-ice of the Northwest Passage, animal species from the Arctic Ocean, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean will interact in unprecedented ways. Warmer water from the Atlantic is increasingly flowing into colder Arctic water, raising its temperature which reduces the formation of sea-ice and also affecting the halocline layer between deep oceanic heat and the fresher water at the surface.
The rapid thawing of the arctic is revealing many new archeological finds. The recently discovered prehistoric toothed arctic bird Tingmiatornis arctica is used as a visual reference in this work, alongside the humpback whale, a species spotted in arctic waters outside its normal range. I play with the forms of these animals which I intertwine and abstract to create a surrealist organic landscape. In this landscape, I stage dream-like interactions between humans and wildlife to express how human beings around the globe are attempting to emotionally process current findings about climate change and its significance. In the construction of this work, I play with the idea of the fragility that is inherent to clay by creating a sense of peril in the delicacy with which the piece is balanced. A vessel is placed on a structure that suggests the flippers of a humpback whale or perhaps bones, perhaps a landscape. The reference is open – we are given information but not enough to form a concrete idea.
In this dream-like setting, I see the ocean space as symbolic of creativity. I imagine this bubble of creative silence is shifting in a perilous way and I attempt to express a sadness at the loss, the fear for the future. I also wish to pay respect to this incredible beauty and force with which nature is imbued and thus feel hopeful that these changes can be reversed and these wild places can be preserved.
Ice-breaker with large flippers base created in porcelain.
H56 x L72 x D50 cm / 17 kgs
The rapid thawing of the arctic is revealing many new archeological findings. The recently discovered prehistoric toothed arctic bird Tingmiatornis arctica is used as a visual reference in this work, alongside the humpback whale, a species spotted in arctic waters outside its normal range. I play with the forms of animals which are intertwined with the form of an icebreaker ship and abstracted to create a surrealist organic landscape. In this landscape, I create dream-like interactions between humans and wildlife to express how human beings around the globe are attempting to emotionally process current findings about climate change and its significance.
"This sculpture stems from a piece a created in response to my time aboard the Canada C3 Expedition marking the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. That piece, Who is Speaking? Who is Listening? was made out of porcelain elements in the shape of ear trumpets, referencing animal horns traditionally used as hearing aids. I wanted to draw attention to the quality of both speaking and listening as foundational to moving forward. I love this simple shape, how light and shadow falls on the form. When I began playing with them in pairs, I saw how when they are placed opposite each other they can curl under the other form, support it and hold it tight. They can stabilize the other, keep each other in balance. To commune is a very deep and vulnerable state, one where you feel heard."
Black Sheep. Erin Robertson is an artist who works in various media. Her ceramic sculptures are wonderfully life-like and call to mind her bronze public installation, Bellwether, created with Anna Williams for the Longfields Transit Station. (See 4th image)