Ceram-AiR Artist 2015 – Gabrielle Strong, Vancouver, BC

Artist Gabrielle Strong

Summer 2015


Gabrielle Strong is drawn to themes of water and reflection after 5 years traveling by sea. The Okanagan is a new landscape that Strong will cultivate a new connection to through paintings and ceramic works. Currently residing in Vancouver, Strong is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

gabrielleNearing completion of my 4th year at Emily Carr University, I will be graduating in May 2015 with a BFA in the visual arts. My practice is split between painting and ceramics, and through both disciplines I work with themes of the natural world. My work has been shown in multiple group exhibits throughout my time at Emily Carr, and most recently a selection of my ceramics was on display at the District Foyer Gallery in North Vancouver, through the North Vancouver Community Arts Council. Additionally I will be showing my work in 3 separate upcoming exhibits between March-May, 2015.

Prior to attending Emily Carr, I spent 5 exciting years travelling to over 70 countries by sea on a luxury cruise-liner, leaving me with a deep connection to the ocean. Those years at sea have left their mark and I am forever drawn to themes of water and reflection.

Through the CeramAiR program, I intend to continue exploring my painting practice, and specifically the canvas, through the medium of clay. These sculptural works reference the canvas while offering an examination into the materiality and temporality of the painted surface. While some speak directly of loss, others are more generative and touch on past themes I’ve worked on, such as pattern and fragmentation. As I continue to work with fabric and clay as an extension of my paintbrush, the fluidity of water comes into play as liquid porcelain replaces paint as my medium, and the natural draping of clay soaked cotton is reminiscent of brushstrokes, and the gentle lapping of waves. Having recently fallen in love with ceramics, but not quite ready to give up painting, I somehow felt that there must be a place where they could meet in the middle. The natural place to start this exploration was with the canvas itself.

As an emerging artist who is not only transitioning from being a student to a working artist, but also from a longtime city dweller, back to my roots as a small town girl, I understand that having a love and appreciation for my surroundings are not only necessary for the growth of my artistic practice, but also for the authenticity of the work I create. Furthermore, through this residency at Caetani Centre, I look forward to building relationships with other artists in the community and hope that this introduction to Vernon creates a long-lasting connection to the land and the people.

FABRIC (Re: Installation: Lost in the Process)

This installation is both about loss and process. Each hand-dipped rag references brushstrokes of the artist’s hand, while capturing individual moments frozen time, never to be repeated the same twice. The process is exposed as freshly torn cotton rags are dipped in porcelain slip and left to dry alongside finished pieces whereby the cotton armature has been lost in the kiln, leaving a permanent memory of its existence in vitrified porcelain.

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Thanks to Lynne Gayan and the Vernon Community Art Centre for providing ceramic studio space, facilities and support for all our Ceram-AiR artists.

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