Samantha Dickie is a Victoria-based contemporary ceramic artist who focuses her practice on abstract sculpture and public installation. The word ‘viveka’ can be translated to ‘the radiance of discernment’ and, conceptually, this project is fueled by the artist’s curiosity about ancient philosophy, neuroscience and the brain, particularly the patterns of the mind. Dickie’s work creates an enveloping environment which encourages viewers to consider the place of stillness within our current culture of continual movement. She writes: “The pervasive internal chatter that fills the moment-to-moment experience of our days leaves little room for space between thoughts; and the level of cultural and technological stimulus surrounding us, leaves very little silence.” Her intention, using visual and audible patterns, is to bring that space and silence into the foreground by exhibiting the sculptural objects as an immersive installation which creates relationships ‘between’ forms and draws attention ‘into’ forms. She is interested in a quality of observation which allows the pervasive space (not matter) to define and hold a form. Viewers will engage with the work from multiple levels in a way that may be a departure from how they have previously experienced ceramic sculpture. The installation has over 550 components in total. A grouping of 150 abstracted simple salt- and soda-fired porcelain forms spread from a pile on the floor, up, onto, and across a wall. An arrangement of individual, unglazed, porcelain sculptures are abstractions of cellular structures where space and form coexist as a matrix. A grouping of large, hand-built, voluminous, spherical, hand-built sculptures stand on the floor surrounding a space where the viewer is invited to sit amongst the forms. Each sphere offers a tiny window-like opening into the dark contained space inside. In an interruption to the quiet gallery space, water becomes an instrument and random patterns of sound layer another sensory element to the installation. Drops fall in random patterns through a grouping of hand-built jet black stoneware pipes hanging from the ceiling onto piles of porcelain weathered stones strewn on the floor. The acoustics in our small gallery work to amplify and extend the aural experience, affecting the viewer’s relationship to the visual elements in the installation as well as influencing the creation of a subjective narrative that is inevitably individual to each viewer. Free public program: Artist Talk and Reception: Sunday March 19, 2 - 4 p.m. For more information, high resolutions images, or to arrange an interview with the artist, please contact curator/director Sarah Cavanaugh at 604-924-1378 or email@example.com.
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