Curator: Sandra Alfoldy
Folk/Funk is a whimsical exhibition that looks at the connections between professional clay artists who use the medium to create social and political statements, and folk artists who enjoy clay for the same purposes. On the one hand, ceramists like David Gilhooly are trained artists who purposefully create clay objects that are fun, satirical takes on contemporary life. Their works either contain purposeful imperfections, like Gilhooly’s Victoria. Bathing with the Beavers, whose heavy clay and quickly applied glaze mimic hobbyist work, or they are carefully created masterworks like Jim Smith’s Titanic Dish which highlight his skill through its sleek form and arresting ornamentation. On the other hand, for folk artists who engage with clay, such as Edouard Jasmin, it is their lack of technical sophistication that is part of their charm. In his series of ceramic platters recently acquired by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Jasmin captures iconic moments in recent Quebec history ranging from the Pope’s visit to celebrations of St. Jean Baptiste Day. Whether professional or folk ceramists, every artist on display in Folk/Funk places storytelling front and centre, capturing the essence of their geographical location, historical moment, or political position.