Harnessing the Elements at AJG
By Chad Ingram
Published Jan. 26, 2017
“‘Element,’ has many meanings,” said Agnes Jamieson Gallery curator Laurie Carmount at the opening reception of new exhibition, Elements, at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre last week. “Basically, it means the aspect of something essential.” Artists work with the elements – water, fire, earth, air – all the time to create their work, but could not some of that work, especially the utilitarian kind, also be considered essential?
In a society that has long sucked up non-renewable resources and gravitated to the purchase of inexpenive, mass-produced, disposable wares, Carmount wonders if Westerners have reached a tipping point, where they will begin to forgo factory-forged products in favour of those that, while more expensive, are handmade, unique and often, more durable.
“I wonder if maybe we’re at a point now, where we can say ‘yes’ to a handmade, Canadian utensil,” Carmount said. “People would hold onto their things much longer and would cherish them.”
From pottery to jewelry to carved pieces, Elements features the work of local artists Greg Gillespie, Renee Woltz, Susanne James, Alex Casper, Sheila Ziman and Lauretta Peters.
Gillespie’s piece, Startled, is a depiction of a duck and muskrat parting ways, carved from black walnut. It earned him a third-place at an international carving competition last year.
Elements shows until Feb. 25.