Nanaimo Art Gallery presents: We Do Not Work Alone
We Do Not Work Alone activates Nanaimo Art Gallery’s collection of more than 65 ceramic works from BC through encounters with contemporary artists, craftspeople, and other cultural practitioners. The exhibition includes an archive section of works by influential 20th century potters Kawai Kanjirō, Hamada Shōji, and Maria and Santana Martinez, and films by Marty Gross/Mingei Film Archive. The central part of the gallery will feature new installations by artists Steven Brekelmans, Roy Caussy, Kate Metten, and Laura Wee Láy Láq.
The title comes from the writings of Japanese potter Kawai Kanjirō (1890–1966) who, along with fellow potter Hamada Shōji and art critic Yanagi Sōetsu, founded the Mingei movement, which championed everyday folk crafts made by generations of unknown artisans. For Kawai “we do not work alone” refers to a potter’s collaboration with the elements, and with previous generations of artists. This exhibition both celebrates and flips this perspective, considering pots themselves as social objects that come to life through relationships with users and viewers.