After the lengthy winter cold stretches in Western Canada the rebirth of spring is always completely welcome. So, we have gathered a wonderful grouping of flowers in paint and in clay to embrace the glory of spring. As Mary-Beth Laviolette states "flowers continue to inspire new interpretations (A Delicate Art, p.9)." Our April flower show includes ceramic work by Ruth Chambers, oil paintings by local Banff artist Susan Elkins, and watercolours by D. Helen Mackie RCA (1926-2018).
Ruth Chambers creates bulbs and flowers out of delicately coloured porcelain at various stages of their growth. She carefully considers and skillfully constructs sculptures of extreme detail. Continuing research into the tradition of still life and its requisite considerations of space, form and time permeates her micro-compositions of fragile, improbable porcelain configurations. In this way the artist addresses ideas of beauty and temporality as part of her exploration of the "metaphysics of the object." The artist is interested in how an object can be more than itself.
The artist's work is ceramic based and at times incorporates other media, usually in an installation format. Her installations have playfully and decoratively intervened into, disputed, and infected architectural structures with foliage-based porcelain ornamentation and lattice-based structures. Her cups, saucers, bowls and cylinders reference painting and ceramic histories yet literally unsettle our assumptions of the genres.The artist playfully and decoratively addresses the tradition of the still life. Her foliage-based porcelain pieces are full of fun and can be highly patterned.
The artist graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design (AOCA) and the University of Regina (MFA, 1994). She is Associate Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Regina, where she has taught in the Fine Arts Faculty since 1994. Studies and residencies have also taken her to The Banff Centre, the Sun Valley Centre for the Arts and Humanities in Sun Valley, Idaho, and the University of Guelph in Ontario.
Since the early 1980s, the artist’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States and the Itabashi Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Solo exhibitions include Conservatory (2010), at the Godfrey Dean Gallery, Yorkton Saskatchewan; Temporary Adornment at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario (2008); and Through the Skin at the International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago (2006).
In 2007 she was a contributing editor, with Amy Gogarty and Mireille Perron, of Utopic Impulses: Contemporary Ceramics Practice (published by Ronsdale Press), which includes essays that explore contemporary Canadian ceramics as a socially responsible practice.