October 24, 2020

BY SHARON SAMUEL

Have you made sculptures out of glass, bronze and metal? Meet a duo who has.

Ione Thorkelsson from Manitoba and Lou Lynn from Winlow, B.C. are contemporary artists who mould glass into sculptures that resemble Canada’s creatures and kitchen tools. Their works are on display at The Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo. Lynn named her exhibition Common/uncommon, while Thorkelsson’s exhibition is called A Natural History of Utopias, which does not have any connection with the actual history of utopia.

“The title is playful, it’s designed to be poetic and playful,” said Sheila McMath, curator at the gallery. “It’s (a) notion that natural history is a very specific study of animal and plant species over time and utopia is a philosophical notion.”

Their shows have been on display since mid-September and both are established artists said McMath. Thorkelsson has received the Saidye Bronfman Award, one of the eight Governor General awards given for excellence in craft in Canada and Lynn has been inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

“The idea of the show is, two solo shows by two established Canadian artists,” said McMath. “The thing that links them is that they are both interested in glass casting and sort of in combining glass with other materials to make the pieces.”

Lynn’s works are inspired by farm tools and part of her exhibition is about the tools we use in our everyday lives.

“She wants people to see the beauty in those functional objects,” said McMath. “And I think she has done a really good job of taking those tools as an inspiration and using her imagination and then melding them to something else quite beautiful.”

Thorkelsson uses bones from birds and animals that are hit on the highway, to draw exact replicas of the animals. The bones are put in a silicon mould which is a labour intensive process as she has to take a negative and turn it into a positive said McMath.

“I think, something about the work is really, really beautiful, because of the material and it’s kind of moody, but it’s also kind of troubling at the same time,” she said.

McMath has known about the two artists’ work for 15 years and was hoping to have them together at the Waterloo gallery.

“I learned a lot from them,” she said. “As mature, established artists, there is such a wealth of knowledge in both of them.”

Although there are no price tags on the artwork, they are for sale.

“None of the work is explicitly for sale, it’s just about celebrating the show and if someone were to be interested in purchasing a work, we would just put that person in contact with the artist’s agent,” said McMath.

The exhibitions at the gallery change four times a year — in September, January, April and July. For more information about the show or upcoming exhibits, visit www.theclayandglass.ca.

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