The Kootenay Gallery will be opening their new season with an exhibit
of work by the internationally renowned ceramic artist Les Manning.
The pieces found in Common/Opposites are a bold departure from
his past collections which, while sculptural in spirit, were typically
traditional, utilitarian vessels: pots, plates and bowls. The 19
sculptures that make up this exhibition, have been described as playful,
using contrasting forms, textures and colours to reflect Manning’s
personal experiences and knowledge of Canada’s landscape. His knowledge
of his medium is obvious. He uses the qualities of ceramics to
“describe” this landscape combining the rough, dark stoneware with
smooth porcelain using intense glazes of pink, yellow, blue, green and
orange. The result is an unexpected, yet delightful surprise.
Les Manning’s artistic career spans over 40 years, from studio potter
to senior arts administrator. He is one of the founders of the Alberta
Craft Council; he ran the prestigious Banff Centre ceramics program and
was an active member of the International Academy of Ceramics. His work
has been shown around the world, and is held in private, corporate and
public collections, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Les
Manning received the Order of Canada in 2012.
The exhibition Common/Opposites was curated by Joanne Marion and its tour organized by the Esplanade Art Gallery, Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Also showing in the adjoining gallery space is the work of two West
Kootenay ceramic artists, Robin Dupont and Pamela Nagely Stevenson. The
title of their exhibition, Trial by Fire, reflects the specific
technique used by these artists, ancient in its origins yet complex in
its process. While time consuming, and labour intensive those who choose
this method do so for the effects achieved. Years of commitment and
dedication to perfecting their craft are reflected in the rich, colours
and textures found in their work. This exhibition is curated by Helen
The opening reception to be held on Friday, February 14th
at 7:00 will include a dialogue between the artists and the curator in
which they will discuss their choice of technique and how it informs
their work. For more information call (250) 365-3337.