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Alejandra Vera

Alejandra Vera was our inaugural Artist-in-Residence as part of the Ceramic, Glass, and Enamel Arts TD Residency for Black, Indigenous, and Underrepresented Peoples and Communities.

A look at Alejandra’s Residency:

During my residency at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, I had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate and explore the diverse shapes of Inca vessels. As an Ecuadorian, I have always had the privilege of admiring these forms throughout my childhood. However, they often felt distant to me, confined to the displays of a museum. Throughout this program, I aimed to delve into the functionality of shapes like the aríbalo, the qiru, and the huaco, to develop a deeper understanding and form a new interpretation of their significance.

As I delved into different shapes, I grew increasingly fascinated by the use of color and its transformative effect on each piece’s meaning.

Additionally, I focused on experimenting with crawl glazes and incorporating various lacquers to achieve multiple results. One particular area of exploration was my focus on incorporating gold, as it allowed me to delve into the concept of value during a time of decolonization. As gold was heavily extracted from the land due to its perceived value, I found it intriguing to shift the focus towards the vessel’s shape and materiality, thereby restoring value to the culture and the land. This motivation stems from my profound exploration of self through the historical narratives of my ancestors.

A statement from Alejandra Vera about her residency at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery

About the Artist

Alejandra Vera

Alejandra Vera is an interdisciplinary artist interested in art, craft, and design. She has a BFA from NSCAD University in Fine Arts, an MFA from the University of Barcelona, and a diploma in ceramics from Escola d’Art La Industrial in Spain. She is originally from Quito, Ecuador, and is currently based in Toronto. After training in painting and sculpture, she discovered ceramics later in her career, a medium that dramatically changed her artistic practice. Her current interest is to explore ceramic processes and techniques in a way that speaks to a broader interdisciplinary practice. In addition, she runs the ceramic design studio ‘cuir ceramics’ since 2019. Her work has been shown in various galleries in Canada and abroad.

Artist Statement

My artistic practice centers around the interplay between self, territory, and material world. By examining this relationship, I delve into questions of spatial occupation, identity, and a sense of place. I view territory as a multifaceted phenomenon shaped by time, location, and human agency. Through my work, I strive to explore the concepts of self and belonging by seeking ways to connect with nature and the materiality of objects. The concepts of territory and identity are intricately linked, and my interdisciplinary approach aims to explore these connections through material practice. My background in painting and sculpture has influenced me to explore ceramics in unexpected ways, taking into consideration its relationship with the land and exploring its unique behaviors and processes. In this way, my objective is to examine the use of ceramics as a localized practice in contemporary art. The materials and techniques employed are influenced by the surroundings and the available resources. By engaging with craft, I challenge the functionality of art pieces and investigate the relationship between objects and the spaces they inhabit in our daily lives. My practice delves into various topics, including nature, movement, material connections, and the exploration of the self.