Living Things – VAV/CUCCR Residency 2019
Erin Berry is completing the final months of her undergraduate degree at Concordia University where she is Majoring in Ceramics. She is the president of the Concordia Ceramics Students Association and a research assistant to the artist, Linda Swanson. Her fibres and ceramic works have shown throughout Canada and the United States, most recently Vermont and Montreal, with her first solo show taking place at Xchanges Gallery in Victoria, BC in 2017. Erin will be taking part in the Short-term Artist Residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark this May.
For this project, my aim is to bring an awareness of the value and environmental cost of the one-use items many of us consume on a daily basis. Earlier this fall I had the opportunity to go to St. Hilaire and dig in a creek bed for local clay. This was my first time experiencing the full process of working with clay from its source, through the making process, to the final glaze firing. During this residency I made clay cups, using the throwing techniques taught to me by my grandmother. The cups are made from the locally sources clay and glazed with found, donated and recycled materials. This process truly gives the end results a value far beyond its intended function as an object or Vessel. During the final exhibition of the residency I will invite everyone to enter their names into a draw for the cups, names will then be chosen and the cups will be given away at the end of the exhibition period. Participants will be able to use and reuse the vessel they choose instead of a paper or plastic. At a time when the global climate is noticeably changing, as a result of our inability to slow our culture of over consumption, this project is meant as a small push towards mindfulness of the impact each of us has on the environment. In a society where it is easier to order on Amazon or get a cheap cup at Dollarama, the act of making, taking the time to craft an object and give it away is a protest against the tide of global consumerism.