Exhibit at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery features explorations of self

The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery (CCGG), located only a few blocks from Wilfrid Laurier University in Uptown Waterloo, is stirring interest among art critics and students alike with their latest exhibit Introspective Expeditions: Journeys to the Self.

The exhibit showcases three Canadian ceramic sculptors exploring themes of change, reflection and transformation, all of which are factors in the ever-evolving voyage towards self-discovery.

While each of the three exhibits is a personal reflection of the artist’s inner search for identity and meaning, they hold universal themes highly relatable for all.

Jane Adeney’s collection, Transubstantiation: Fire and the Search for Meaning, features eight pieces involving similar concepts of the symbolic purification of fire.

Instead of using paint to create a textured pattern on her clay bricks, Adeney burns the bricks, allowing the smoke to create its own continuous, natural pattern.

In addition to these techniques, she combines mixed media pieces such as light, sound and film, and integrates them into the simplicity of brown and black clay bricks.

Adeney’s collection is particularly fascinating because of the clay’s stages of control, malleability and hardening by fire, which for Adeney is reflective of the many transformations of the human experience.

The second gallery presents China-born Sin-Ying Ho’s One World/Many Peoples.

Ho immigrated to Canada, a move that greatly influenced her artwork as it illustrates the merging of people and cultures in an ever-shrinking, homogenized world.

In One World/Many Peoples, Ho uses extra-large ceramic vases painted with traditional Chinese images. Each vase has a cut-out human shape filled with corporate logos such as Disney, Nike, MasterCard and Chanel.

Ho touches not only on issues of consumerism and globalization but on the collision of eras and cultures.

This juxtaposition between the eastern and western cultures forms a critique on postcolonial theory and Imperial Europe.

The final exhibit, Broken… But Still Standing by Louise Pentz is a commentary on the popular representations of women and motherhood in society.

Instead of showcasing each porcelain sculpture as a sacred vessel, Pentz creates fragmented women channelling a different emotion or transformation in the journey of womanhood.

Each stage is emotionally represented through marriage, heartbreak, birth and old age, focusing on the spirit and strength of the individual during a time of tribulation.

The women are no longer objects of perfection; rather, they are objects of endurance and inspiration.

Each of these exhibits tempts us to uncover our own transformations and experiences in the mysteries of life.

Student admission to the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery is $3 and free between 5 and 6 p.m. on weekdays. The exhibit runs until Mar. 21.