FUSION: The Ontario Clay and Glass Association

ONLINE GALLERY / Alexandra McCurdy

Alexandra McCurdy

Alexandra McCurdy Ceramics
1057 Tower Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 2Y6

Artist Statement
My work has long been inspired by textile patterns and motifs drawn from the intricate quill and needlework of indigenous Mi'kmaq and women's textiles, by my research into Western textile history and the central role played in it by women, and by my mother's personal involvement in the British textile industry earlier this century.

My new series of boxes are a logical progression, merging the techniques of textiles and clay, decorative surface and form. In earlier work, the slip trailed textile patterns and symbols were applied to the surface of the ceramic piece, fired and then glazed. With these latest boxes, the coloured porcelain slip is trailed, layer upon layer, in opposite directions, until enough thickness is built up to support itself. I am, in essence, weaving the slip, with a warp and a weft. Each component is fired, then wired together to form a box and embellished with coloured computer wire, metallic thread, raffia or textile symbols such as the spiral, used by women over the centuries. They are microcosms built of fragile layers with screen-like optics.

The box is a potent metaphor because it is the perfect vessel for containing what we cannot control. Putting a lid on strong emotions or a fragile life. Additionally, my porcelain Boxes intentionally utilize the feminine principal of containment and enclosure. They are a metaphor for women in ceramics, including myself, and are informed by my research on that subject. Moreover, the "black box" is a term used for something that is mysterious, especially as to function. Its externally visible behaviour is considered, and not its implementation or "inner workings". In these Boxes I have deliberately left the "inner workings" to the viewer's imagination, embellishing the external instead in an ambiguous way.

1992 Cardiff Institute of Higher Education, Cardiff, Wales. Masters Degree in 3D Design - Ceramics
1980 Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art.

2009 Boundless Possibilities, juried, The Von Leibig Art Centre, Naples, Florida, USA
2008 5x5x5, juried, Target Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
2006 World Women on the Horizon, juried, Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, USA                                                                  2010  Florida Contemporary, juried exhibition, The von Leibig Art Centre, Naples, Florida, U.S.A.                                                 2011   Inaugural Naples International Contemporary Crafts Exhibition, juried exhibition,  Longstreth-Goldberg Art Gallery, Naples, Florida,
2011    Fireworks, juried exhibition organized by the Canadian Clay and Glass Association, opening at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery in Toronto, Ontario and traveling for two years                                            2012   Connections, Focus Gallery, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto, Ontario                                                                                     2013  Carrying it Forward, Mary E.Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia
2013  Change Ahead, Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council juried exhibition, Mary E.Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia                       2013  Fireworks 2013, two year juried traveling exhibition organized by the Canadian Clay and Glass Association, opening at Sheridan Art Gallery, Oakville,Ontario                                                                  

2008 A Stitch in Time, Ross Creek Art Centre, Canning, Nova Scotia
2006 Common Thread, Second Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia
2005 The Ties that Bind, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario
2004 Mothers/Daughters, Mary Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Traveling to the Acadia University Art Gallery, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and Cambridge Galleries, Cambridge, Ontario            2013    The Fabric of Clay, traveling retrospective, Burlington Art Centre, Ontario, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick

2009 Award for Technical Achievement from the Von Leibig Art Centre, Naples, Florida, USA
2002 Nominee for Bronfman Award
1993 Nominee for Joan Chalmers Award
1989 Nominee for Bronfman Award                                                        2011  Fusion Fireworks Best in Design Award, Fusion (Ontario Clay and Glass Association) Fireworks juried exhibition, opening at Ontario Crafts Council Gallery in Toronto, Ontario, and traveling throughout Ontario
Green Box

Butterfly Box

Black Box with Raffia

Blue Box

All boxes are 5 x 5 inches, made of porcelain, wire and beads. Photos: Julien Beveridge

FUSION gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, and the Ontario Arts Council. The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario. 


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