Linda Swanson curates Épisode, the second Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale
The current exhibition entitled Épisode features four artists whose works speak not only to excellence and innovation in ceramics, but to its relevance as a discipline that allows for a specifically corporeal, embodied articulation of contemporary human experience
“The ceramics scene in Canada is developing rapidly alongside resurging interest in materiality in the arts,” says Swanson. “These exhibitions showcase what is happening in Canada and internationally and brings these exciting developments in the contemporary ceramics scene to Quebec for the first time.”
Swanson’s choice of artists — Phoebe Cummings (Stafford, U.K.), Benjamin DeMott (Chicago, U.S.), Janet Macpherson (Toronto, Canada) and Meghan Smythe (Los Angeles, U.S.) — has resulted in an inspiring, materially seductive exhibition. Each artist recognizes the historical heritage of ceramics, yet offers a highly original and imaginatively provocative vision.
“The exhibition is deceptively clear. The complexity of the materials in play and the issues involved slowly unfolds to you. As you walk in, the first piece is made of raw clay, it’s extremely fragile and seems to suggest ideas about our own mortality,” says Swanson.
25 Concordia students assisted the artists setting up the show and creating installations over a five-day period.
Épisode is the second of five biennales taking place between 2014 and 2022. The first in the series, Caméléon was curated by another Concordian, Associate Professor, Jean-Pierre Larocque two years ago. The Visual Arts Centre which houses the McClure Gallery was originally founded as a clay guild and the biennale honours Virginia McClure’s life-long engagement with ceramics.
Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale: Épisode • Phoebe Cummings, Benjamin DeMott, Janet Macpherson, Meghan Smythe. Curator: Linda Swanson
Exhibition : October 28 to November 26
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 pm to 6 pm; Saturday 12 pm to 5 pm