Wednesday, 16 January 2013 08:34

Art Gallery of Swift Current's Mimesis has many twists and turns

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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Art Gallery of Swift Current’s current exhibition opened Jan. 12, and presents a dialogue of energy through both clay pieces and photographs.

‘Mimesis’, by Saskatchewan ceramic artist Jody Greenman-Barber, features dynamic still images alongside twisting and turning clay works, capturing a unique feeling of movement.
“The inspiration for this exhibition started with me working a residency in Denmark two years ago,” explained Greenman-Barber. “I was really exploring the language expressed by using the wheel, and I wanted to branch out from my usual habits. I had been using the wheel for more than 12 years, so I really challenged myself there by brainstorming new ways of approaching the wheel.”
Greenman-Barber was also inspired by the body language around her.
With many different languages spoken by the people around her, and sign language used frequently, she started considering the idea of language and communication.
“Traditionally, we relate the different parts of a pot to parts of our bodies — the lip, neck, foot, and so on, physically relate to the pot. So I started putting my own physical body in its place, and started acting out the making of a pot as though my body was the pot, which is it, since I am also a vessel,” Greenman-Barber noted.
“I put myself into a shadow box and started taking images of my body in shadow, using my own figure to demonstrate the relationship to vessel and movement.”
The ceramic pieces in the exhibition also speak to this idea of energy. The smaller pots are ripped and torn, and take on the forms of little people, performing or showing body languages.
Other pieces are wrapped, or mummified. For Greenman-Barber, the pieces are conceptually about time, or capturing a particular moment in time.
“I have a deep appreciation for this material itself, how it has been a part of our lives way back even thousands of years ago,” said Greenman-Barber. “It has a connection to the environment and it’s such an exciting material to work with because of that history.”
Her hope is that this idea of expressiveness captured in objects and imagery translates to viewers, and that they will feel an appreciation for the expressive nature of our own bodies.
“It’s such an important form of communication and language, and that’s really the whole purpose of connecting with each other,” she added. “I hope people will find something intriguing about the exhibition, and maybe a curiosity as to why we express some of the things we choose to express.”
Greenman-Barber will be at the gallery on Jan. 25 for a free public tour at 4 p.m., and a coffeehouse evening with hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, walk-and-talk tour, and live music at 7:30 p.m. with a $5 cover charge.

Read 2360 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 January 2013 09:08

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