Seriously Stoned / Canadian Sculpture Centre

Seriously Stoned is exploring contemporary stone approach by eight members of the Sculptors Society of Canada. As the title suggests the exhibition is all about stones and becoming ecstatic through the procedure of transforming the otherwise static and lifeless medium into meaningful artworks. The artists investigate all the possibilities hidden in stones, from classical marble through limestone to steatite. The works materialize all imaginable styles from figurative to abstract, depicting real objects as well as magical imagery.

Elizabeth Merei’s alabaster sculpture Windswept, a female figure, a torso indeed, conveys vitality and movement mixing a classical motive with a semi-abstract form. There is a tension between the smoothness of the body and the rough surface of the base, showing the double nature of the stone. Also made of alabaster, Irene Sirko’s Awakening seems to radiate light from the inside. Many believe that stones have spirits and in this piece we can witness as a spirit comes into life through pulsation of light and the movement of the curved surface. Angela Verlaeckt-Clark, Stone Clouds and Mary Ellen Farrow, Essence beautifully capture the elements of nature in grateful movements while also treasure the marble, bringing out the stone’s inner beauty.

Elizabeth Merei, Windswept, Colorada alabaster

Irene Sirko, Awakening, alabaster

Angela Verlaeckt-Clark, Stone Clouds, omega blue marble, maple (left) & Mary Ellen Farrow, Essence, marble (right)

There is magical reality in this show as well, sculptures that challenge our perception. Dina Torran’s work at first sight reminded me of a BBQ, then a quash-like plant with unusually large seeds. When I finally read the title, Time Capsule, I was surprised, but not that much. What is a time capsule and what it contains? The most important things we want to survive us and our times. Torran likes to use natural elements as a base and write them over with her personal history – so I think this sculpture can depict many different things at the same time. The receiver would be pleased with the beautiful black marble. Fred Hummel’s pieces lead us farther away from reality into a clearly magical world. Just as the objects we know from real life go through a metamorphosis the white stone also loses its solid quality and becomes light as whipped crème on a cake. Catharsis reminds us of a birthday cake with candles on the top. However those spikes are arrow heads, sharp and able to hurt. In Anticipation expectancy creates multiply breasts presented here in a truly strange way.

Dina Torran, Time Capsule, champlain black marble, danby imperial marble

Fred Hummel, Anticipation (left) & Catharsis (right), both Turkish limestone, various stone

Playfulness is a major element of creativity. Irene Blogg’s Exploration in steatite – combines an origami piece with a totem bird’s head that becomes monumental in its stone form; while the dark polished works by Daniel Yu and Yeon-Tak Chang reveal an impeccable inner beauty of carrara marble and African wonderstone.

Irene Blogg, Exploration, black steatite

Daniel Yu, Principle Fundamentals, African wonderstone (left) and  Yeon-Tak Chang, Waterfall, black carrara marble (right)

Victoria Rainoff

Images are courtesy of Canadian Sculpture Centre

*Exhibition information: March 15 – April 6, 2018, Canadian Sculpture Centre, 500 Church Street. Gallery hours: Tue – Fri: 12 – 6, Sat: 11 – 4 pm.



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