Introspective Expeditions: Journeys to the Self

January 17, 2010 – March 21, 2010

Click here for the exhibition brochure.

Click here for The Record coverage of this exhibition, and here for The Cord coverage.

Click here for the Louise Pentz: Broken…But Still Standing catalogue.


Louise Pentz: Broken…But Still Standing

Throughout the ages, there has been a tradition of representing women and motherhood as an iconographic image of “Women as Vessel.” Usually symbolizing the ideals of fertility, purity, and the nurturing caregiver, these representations were   as eternal yet lacked any human experiential dimension. In Broken … But Still Standing, Louise Pentz uses smoke-fired ceramic sculpture to take us into a world of contradictions where mothering is a deeply personal journey full of on-going learning, teaching, and transformation. Pentz celebrates the strength of women throughout history, despite their often vulnerable positions. Moreover, she particularly focuses on the spirit of strength and nurturing of women in the face of obstacles and tribulation — often such adversity that would have others crumble. Pentz says:” Their skills to survive are often driven by a hope for a better future and their pain causes them to work for change so that other will not suffer as they have.” Here, women are represented as vessels of personal identity and experience, and our mothers’ legacies of strength, endurance, and faith inspire and guide our own individual journeys.

Nova Scotia sculptor and potter, Louise Pentz,  has studied in Canada, the US, and Mexico and has exhibited her work in Canada and France. She has received grants from The Canada Council for the Arts and the Nova Scotia Department of Culture, Tourism, and Heritage. Her work has appeared in Fusion, Craft Report, Ceramics Monthly, and was also published in Robin Hopper’s Making Marks: Discovering the Ceramic Surface (Krause Publications, Iola, WI).



Jane Adeney: Transubstantiation: Fire and the Search for Meaning

Hamilton artist, Jane Adeney is nationally known for her elaborate smoke-fired clay sculptures and mixed media installations that focus on controlled states of transformation and alchemical metamorphosis, an idea that she explores here through clay — a material that depends upon fire as an integral part of the creative process. Her fascination with the clay’s various stages of being, (malleability, firing, and smoking) mirrors her own examination of the various stages of personal passage, renewal, and cycles of transformation. In collaboration with her son, Chris Adeney, the works incorporate found objects, light, and new media, using images of fire to explore the uniquely human search for transcendental meaning by focusing on that element’s symbolic properties. Her work explores human existence and the symbolic purification of fire, which is able to reach into the depths of our inner selves, touching the internal worlds of our desires and, possibly, our fears.

Since 1984, Jane Adeney has exhibited her clay works across Canada including such venues as the  Art Gallery of the University of Waterloo, the Burlington Art Centre, the Cambridge Galleries, the Carnegie Gallery, The Glenhyst Gallery, the WPK Kennedy Art Gallery, and the Yukon Arts Centre. In addition to being the subject of countless catalogues and articles, she has received numerous Ontario Arts Council grants, and most recently received the Fine Crafts Project Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.



Sin-ying Ho: One World/Many Peoples

In the 21st century, the forces of political, technological, and economic globalisation have resulted in the merging of people from many nationalities and cultures. Sin-ying Ho’s illustrates the course of such an encounter between colliding cultures and eras. Ho is known for deconstructing and reconstructing vessels in such a way as to completely alter them into unfamiliar and unrecognizable sculptural objects as a visual demonstration of the transformation that occurs when time and cultures collide. In this series, the artist draws our attention to cross-cultural experience by combining apparently divergent elements, such as hand painted and digital images, into single traditional forms — albeit human scale. Ho’s juxtaposition of various fragments of both Eastern and Western imagery, and both traditional and contemporary forms, comments on contemporary postcolonial theory while recognizing the contemporary reality of different cultural experiences interweaving with each other. Questions are raised when deciding between new versus old technologies versus tradition, language versus communication, aesthetics versus cultural identity, and economy versus power. What remains is decided through personal and collective choices and what is lost is often lost forever.

Ceramic artist Sin-Ying Ho was born in Hong Kong, immigrated to Canada, and currently resides in New York City. She holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from Louisiana State University. Currently Assistant Professor of Ceramics at CUNY Queens, Ho has taught and run workshops and exhibitions all across Canada, as well as from Harvard to Hong Kong. Among her honours, she has received the San Angelo National Ceramic Competition Merit Award, Canada Council Grant for the Canada Year of Asian Pacific, Canada Council of the Art Research and Development Grant, and a PSC-CUNY Grant. Recently, Ho exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art in New York; Gardiner Museum in Toronto; and Glenbow Museum in Calgary.