Falling Awake: Meet the Artist Special Presentation
June 7 – July 2
Ceramic Sculptures by Susannah Montague.
:: Saturday, June 10, 2–3 p.m.
One of Canada's foremost ceramic artists, Susannah Montague, presents her new solo exhibition, "Falling Awake," which serves as both her Pandemic Diary and a snapshot of the current moment. This collection of artwork documents her interior life during the Covid-era and will serve as a historical record of what it means to be alive in this unique period.
The inspiration behind her upcoming exhibition is a direct reflection of Montague's experience as a conduit of this time and the world around her. It explores themes of obsession, meditation, and alchemy amidst the isolation imposed by the pandemic. Through this introspective period of uncertainty, we collectively turned inward, testing our inner strengths and courage. Montague skillfully weaves her personal story into universal truths, delving into the relationship between trauma and resilience.
Montague's sculptures, characterized by their highly symbolic and eerily beautiful nature, possess a captivating duality of drawing viewers in while also repelling them. Her sculptural ceramic pieces convey strong narratives through the interplay of dark subjects, delicate swirling forms, and the juxtaposition of the grotesque and the sublime. In her rebellion against adversity, she manages to find beauty even in challenging subjects, infusing her work with a pronounced spiritual power.
Each of Montague's baroque porcelain sculptures strikes a delicate balance between intricate hand modeling and volatile alchemical processes, honed through years of practice. She employs techniques such as hand building, slip casting, and sprig molds, which are further enhanced by dripping, cracked glazes, transferware, and lusters. Drawing from the rich history of ceramics in both manufacturing and art, Montague seamlessly combines centuries of narratives, styles, and sculptural techniques.
In her latest body of work, Montague incorporates symbols such as fading flora and fauna, bubbles, skulls, insects, and animals, embellished with opulent flecks of gold. These lavishly adorned creations evoke a slightly sinister feeling within their modern compositions, symbolizing death and the transient nature of life.