The Colborne Art Gallery Presents: “Talking To Myself”
Works in Clay and on Paper by Susan McDonald
April 18 to May 24 - Opening Reception: Saturday April 18, 2-4pm
There are things we all talk to ourselves about. The inner dialogue that dominates our thinking constantly questions what we should be doing. Visual artist and Colborne Art Gallery member Susan McDonald has been exploring this dialogue through her pottery and paintings. Should it be big? Should it be small? Should it be functional? How to push boundaries? Her exhibition at The Colborne Art Gallery, “Talking to Myself”, invites the viewer to take part in this thought process.
In an effort to go beyond her perceived limitations, McDonald’s latest collection explores scale, materials and process. Her pottery ranges from diminutive vessels to larger-scale functional pieces, delicate porcelain to sturdy stoneware. Her paintings explore the concept of “going beyond”, of entering a new space. Both forms of creative expression invite the viewers into the conversation, engaging them in their own discourses and journeys of discovery.
McDonald entered the world of ceramics more than a decade ago, when her meditation teacher instructed her to create 100 vases, as a means of exploring the self as an empty vessel. She soon found herself hooked on clay, on the process of wheel-throwing. Since creating those first 100 pieces, which she says she turned into mugs, McDonald has become a highly skilled ceramic artist, and a valued member of many arts communities, including the Northumberland Potters Association and the American Craft Council. She also gives regular pottery classes at her studio in Welcome.
McDonald’s willingness to venture into territory beyond her comfort zone is the mark of an artist advanced in her abilities, ready to take risks for the sake of making new discoveries within her discipline. In this exhibition, she will be showing vessels fired in electric, gas and wood-fired kilns, raku, as well as delicate slip-cast porcelain figurines, all of which will inspire emotions reflective of their forms, materials and processes.
McDonald was a painter before she became a potter, and her work in two dimensions continues to evolve in her i-pad paintings. Digital drawings are printed on watercolour paper, which she further develops with inks and watercolour washes. The resulting imagery is enigmatic and bold, an adventure of vivid colour and texture.
In this series, she examines the concept of the gateway, representative of the many stages we pass through in our lives. The gateway often appears as a door, in a garden, among ruins, in a dream-like landscape, at the end of a pathway, inviting us to pass through, and to discover what is beyond.
As an artist, as well as an instructor and mentor, Susan McDonald invites us all to partake in dialogue with ourselves and each other, to discover new frontiers of creativity deep within us. We may all be inspired to pay attention to our own inner conversations, to become more mindful of what we are actually saying to ourselves.
“Talking to Myself” runs from April 18 to May 24. Opening reception will be on Saturday, April 18 from 2-4pm. All are welcome, admission is free, and The Colborne Art Gallery is wheelchair accessible. For more information, please visit www.thecolborneartgallery.ca.