(All photos by Grace Leammler)
REVOLUTION, at the Mary E. Black Gallery through Nov. 4, is an intriguing, imaginative and powerful exhibit by Craft Nova Scotia members.
For this juried show the province’s top artisans explored the many intrepretations of the word revolution.
The 22 works range from the astonishingly-exquisite song sparrow’s nest of orbiting silver wire by jeweler Elizabeth Goluch to ceramic artist Carol Morrow’s quilt-inspired, revolutionary- red, text-patterned punchbowl and cups called Sisters Rising: Punch Set for the #Metoo Movement.
Political and playful rug hooker Laura Kenney also reacts to the #Metoo Movement. Her signature character, Judy, beats a drum as she marches with her black-robed sisters wearing pussy hats. A red dress without a figure symbolizes lost indigenous women and connects to Kenney’s written text, MMIW, referring to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Ceramic artist Jim Smith’s delicate, whimsical, earthenware Set of Cake Plates for Marie Antoinette playfully looks at political upheaval with references to the queen’s famous misquote “Let Them Eat Cake” and some of her favourite things including cornflowers in a repeating motif. There is sadly one woeful depiction of the guillotine.
Revolution can mean round and revolving which Alexandra McCurdy points to in her white stoneware Covered Jar and Bowl – round vessels in red and black with circles within circles on a background of dots like “planets orbiting the sun,” says McCurdy.
Karen LeBlanc’s Jacquard weaving based on photographs she took in New York of old sewing machines and spools of thread speaks to circles and revolving wheels. It also connects to Wilma Butts’ Pit Head Wheel, of discharged silk with felt backing, and its reference to industrial and labour revolutions, specifically the history of industrial Cape Breton.
Louise Pentz’s weary, tubular figures out of stained, smoke and wood-fired clay, bound with rough linen, is a very powerful visual metaphor for community. Her statement for Better Together says it all: “We may be fragile, vulnerable and unsuited when we try to stand alone. But together we can change the world.”
Bonnie Baker’s The Hand That Rocks the Nation is also a lovely, poetic piece with a barely visible blue hand taking a glowing white rock from a stack of stones. She references stones as building blocks, “the breaker of imposed limitations and stereotypes” and “the tool of revolution.”
Her process of a mid-19th century photographic printing process for a cyan-blue print speaks to revolution in terms of technical change.
Also exhibiting are Catherine Beck, Marla Benton, Clare Bridge, Philip Doucette, Ray Mackie and Deb Kuzyk, Wendy Landry, Mindy Moore, Rachel Ryan, Marilyn Smulders, Isako Suzuki, Jessie Tesolin and Stephen Zwerling.
The gallery is open Saturday and Sunday, 11 to 4; Tuesday through Friday, 9 to 5.