The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC’s latest thought-provoking exhibition, Playing with Fire: Ceramics of the Extraordinary, opens today November 22, 2019 running until March 29, 2020.
Playing with Fire showcases a group of 11 celebrated BC-based artists, this premiere exhibition of ceramic works expresses strong opinions on urgent social issues and offers subtle perspectives on the state of our contemporary world. While at first glance these works may appear very approachable through a lens of nostalgia, beauty, or humour, upon closer inspection they reveal much deeper commentaries on social injustice, racism, identity, and censorship. The exhibition invites visitors to explore the many layers of understanding each of these provocative works embody, boldly demonstrating clay’s myriad discursive possibilities.
“I have always been interested in introducing some alternative to the presumption that BC ceramics are only about brown pots, living on islands, and rejecting commercialism,” explains Carol E. Mayer, MOA’s Curator of the Pacific and Ceramics. “When clay is released from its functional imperative and rethought as a medium of sculptural expression it can be taken in multiple directions — doors open to the possibility of creating works that address and comment on compelling aspects of the human condition and contemporary reality.”
Playing with Fire features the work of 11 internationally recognized BC-based artists acclaimed for their fearless innovation in ceramic work; Judy Chartrand, Ying-Yueh Chuang, Gathie Falk, Jeremy Hatch, Ian Johnston, David Lambert, Glenn Lewis, Alywn O’Brien, Bill Rennie, Debra Sloan, and Brendan Tang. Working in clay, the most accessible of mediums, and drawing inspiration from pop culture, art history, humour, beauty, hope, and nature, these artists bring fresh, playful, and challenging perspectives of the art form. Visitors are encouraged to search for new meanings and examine the complexities hidden, often in plain sight, within the works.
The works of these 11 artists featured in Playing with Fire boldly stretch the traditional thoughts of the functionality of clay, as they release this unassuming yet transformable material from its constraints to create extraordinary works of art. Visitors will be transfixed by the power of each work and compelled to reconsider their own perceptions of clay as an art form.
Playing with Fire: Ceramics of the Extraordinary, is on display at The Museum of Anthropology at UBC, 6393 NW Marine Drive, from November 22, 2019 to March 29, 2020 for more information visit MOA online at https://moa.ubc.ca/exhibition/playing-with-fire/