Posts from February 2022


February 28, 2022

“Each piece of paper I cut is a prayer,” says Ayumi Shibata of her exquisite artworks. Through traditional methods of Japanese paper cutting, Shibata creates magical scenes inspired by nature. Some are tiny enough to fit inside the palm of a hand, while others are large enough to walk through. “Kami” –– the Japanese word for both “spirit” –– emanates through her work. Each piece lights up, releasing ethereal shadows. “The light represents spirit and life, how the sun rises and breathes life into the world,” she says. Interestingly, “Kami” also means paper, which seems apt given its light, organic, and ubiquitous qualities. I find Shibata’s work beautiful, and full of hope.

pleats, please

February 24, 2022

Richard Sweeney‘s sculptures look like birds in flight. “People see different things –– animal skulls and a spinal column being a few of my favorites mentioned so far.” It’s hard to imagine that they’re constructed from paper. Monochromatic, fluid and ethereal, I mostly see Doric columns and exquisite Madame Grès pleating. And that’s the beauty of them. That everyone sees what they see.

around and around

February 23, 2022

Embroidery artist, Yumiko Higuchi’s charming designs.

Robynn Storgaard’s warm and whimsical ceramics.

Roughly carved wooden sculptures (using a nata, a Japanese hatchet) by Hirosuke Yabe.

Winning colour combo.

Cotton basics from Elizabeth Suzann.

Olivia Parker‘s shell beans.

artist’s statement

February 22, 2022

It happens quite often, that I am drawn to a piece of art, one that I want to share here, but that I don’t because the artist’s statement gets in the way. What was a very pure and instinctive response becomes blurred with concepts too heady for me to digest, let alone write about. It was refreshing today to read ceramicist, Elisabeth Rollmann speaking about her work in a way that made it feel both original and accessible. “My work is about pattern, colour and surface quality in ceramic glazes. It is unapologetic aesthetic. There is no deeper meaning or concept.” Which leads me to ask, must there always be a deeper meaning or concept? Does the pressure to create a meaningful narrative around the work sometimes alienate people from it? Maybe I’m just not that clever. Or maybe there are too many artists out there who feel that they have to sound clever to be in the club. At the Shary Boyle exhibition currently on at The Gardiner Museum it struck me as interesting that the artist omitted any accompanying text alongside her surreal and outlandish sculptures. Each one is loaded with meaning, but it’s up to us to decide what that meaning is.


February 18, 2022

There’s beauty in decay; paint peeling from walls of abandoned buildings, rust on steel, skin ravaged by life. These photographs by German artist, Kathrin Linkersdorff are breathtaking. Inspired by wabi sabi, the Japanese concept of transience and imperfection, Linkersdorff ‘s portraits capture the beauty of flowers as they are dying. “I am interested in the ephemeral nature of flowers and other living organisms,” she says. “You can interpret this as a metaphor for the circle of life. It’s not necessarily just about the flowers…. I like to explore an object’s nature and reveal structures which lie hidden under its surface.”

weird and weirder

February 18, 2022

Megan Bogonovich‘s ceramics looks like sea creatures, the kind that beguile you, but that you know not to get too close to. Only a very vivid imagination can dream up such beautiful and bizarre creations. I rather adore this one, part exotic flower, part palm tree, and glazed in the gentlest of pastels. Do they bite? Quite possibly.


February 16, 2022

Thérèse Lebrun‘s intricate, paper thin creations require intense focus; I can’t imagine anything else enters her mind while she works. It’s the ultimate meditation, making room in the mind so that something raw and original can emerge. “My way of creating begins with doing, rather than thinking,” says Lebrun. I love this. Ceramics are a collaboration between clay and unconscious. The conscious mind kicks in to make practical decisions that pertain to function, but the rest of the time, you’re in another realm. I find Lebrun’s work exquisite and intense. Sea urchins, craters and winter seed heads spring to mind.

around and around

February 16, 2022

Fenella Elms’ exquisite porcelain sculpture.

Simple and beautiful earthenware from Nobue Ibaraki.


When flowers look like gramophones.

A young Meryl Streep.

Simone Bodmer-Turner’s bold forms.

still life

February 14, 2022

“Raw, playful and juicy,” are all words that Florence Hutchings uses to describe her paintings. She’s fearless in her use of colour, and her compositions have a childlike crudeness to them. Think still lives with awkward proportions and distorted perspectives. I find Hutching’s style free and unfettered; rules don’t exist. Like children paint.

stepping out

February 11, 2022

I very nearly bought a housecoat yesterday. It was a full length cable knit cardigan, fashioned from a lovely violet-grey alpaca. The only reason why I didn’t snap it up on the spot is because I knew I would never leave the house again. It’s rare to find something that’s as cozy as a blanket, and chic enough to entertain Elsa Maxwell in. But after close to two years of comfort dressing, any new purchases have to get me out the house not keep me in it. My Mum sent me two “fancy” blouses for Christmas that I can’t quite muster the brio to wear yet, but a baby step might be this striped sweater with matching velvet bib collar. It’s very Sonia Rykiel, and looks demure and cozy, with a suggestion of play. For now, that feels about right.

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