Kinsley’s work explores his personal and cultural identity defined by the environment of Hamilton, ON. His recent work, Iron Identity evokes and commemorates this identity through the use of oxides, coarse finishing, and the use of steel.
April 30 – June 18, 2022
Reception: Friday, April 29, 6-9pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto
‘In the Presence of Change’ is a two-person exhibition featuring the work of fibre artist Fiona Duthie and glass artist Amee Raval that explores themes of resilience and transformation.
Composed of 132 unique tiles, Fiona Duthie’s wall installation is a study in materiality. Titled ‘Resilience’, the installation is an outgrowth of her more traditional felt-making practice that delves into the transformation of common materials through extreme processes. The foundation of each tile is a BC fir-offcut from a local building site, which is blackened and preserved using a traditional Japanese method of charring the wood surface with flame (shou sugi ban). Providing contrast to the charred wood is 'paper felt', a medium Duthie developed that is a labour-intensive marriage between traditional Korean papermaking (joomchi) and wool feltmaking. Ceramic elements, fired in the extreme heat of a kiln, reach out from the tiles, which are then finished with inks made from soot that Duthie collected from forest fire-burnt trees in BC and Australia. Duthie invites interaction from visitors to move and rearrange the tiles into new configurations throughout the exhibition. Through these changes—planned and unplanned—the installation maintains its visual integrity. “Nature and humanity share this trait,” Duthie contends, “in the face of adversity, we are both resilient.”
Amee Raval’s colourful cast glass pieces stand in contrast to the limited palette of ‘Resilience’. The ‘Goddess’ series features a trio of sculptural female forms that draw on the traditional imagery of Raval’s Hindu heritage. However, each piece is subtly transformed through the incorporation of elements such as boxing gloves and carpentry tools—objects at odds with traditional notions of femininity. Through these contrasts, Raval aims to show a culture in which patriarchal norms are being challenged by progressive feminist ideals. Similarly, Raval’s floor installation draws on rangoli, a traditional Hindu art form of creating geometric patterns on floors or tabletops from everyday materials, practiced particularly by women and girls in celebration of Festivals. In lieu of the flower petals or coloured sands that might make up a conventional rangoli, Raval’s piece is composed of hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers rendered in colourful cast glass—tools conventionally associated with men and male labour.
Although contrasting in material, palette, and figuration/abstraction, Duthie and Raval’s pieces both bear witness to moments of transformation and change—individual, societal, and global. They draw on traditional craft practices, implemented through a contemporary lens. At a moment that feels unprecedented, it is good to remember that we have always been invited to participate in transformation—the only constant in life, as they say, is change.
– Robyn Wilcox, Curator
Fiona Duthie is an fibre artist/maker recognized for her dynamic surface design. She has a full time studio practice on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. Being in this beautiful natural space surrounded by forest, rocky beaches, the ocean and a strong artist community has allowed her creative practice to thrive. Duthie's work has been published in many international textile arts publications. She has exhibited widely in both public and private galleries in Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia and the UK.
Amee Raval is an emerging glass artist based in Mississauga, Ontario. Following more than a decade as a marketing and business professional, Raval decided to pursue her passion for glass, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Craft & Design from Sheridan College in 2019. Raval is a Resident Artist at Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre and a Glass Art Association of Canada board member.
Fiona Duthie acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Craft Ontario exhibitions are supported by the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.