images courtesy Chris Pancoe | 2012

From the beginning of time, people from around the world have manipulated clay into functional, decorative and sculptural forms.  Easily accessible and versatile by its very nature, clay has long been a popular medium for sculptural works and was one of the earliest mediums humans used to document the world in which they lived.  For historians and archaeologists, clay works have provided information on how humans once conducted their daily lives, maintained relationships and social order in addition to offering insight on their belief systems.

Distributary, curated by Chris Pancoe, will bring together the sculptural works of seven ceramic artists who live (or have lived) in Manitoba:  Trudy Golley, Carmela Laganse, Grace Nickel, Kelli Rey, Kevin Stafford, Peter Tittenberger, and Lin Xu. Distributary examines how these artists use clay as a medium to document their interactions with nature, everyday objects, and/or popular culture.

The title Distributary was chosen for the aptness of its definition: a river that branches off of and flows away from the mainstream.  Not only is the title appropriate because clay is mostly harvested from riverbanks but also for the way in which each artist chosen for this project has individually branched off of and flowed way from the mainstream, challenging the notions of clay as craft and flowing into contemporary contexts.