Some of Roxanne Gagnon's work on display at the Ranger Station Art Gallery.

‘Hand Built’ marries function with beauty

Roxanne Gagnon's exhibit Hand Built, which is showing at the Ranger Station Art Gallery, combines beauty with functionality.

There’s the kind of art that you hang on your wall and then there’s the kind of art that you use in your everyday life, but it’s rare that the two ever meet.

However, Vancouver-based artist Roxanne Gagnon’s exhibit Hand Built, which is showing at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison Hot Springs, does just that.

“I wanted to build an everyday object that could be a sculpture depending on the viewer,” Gagnon explained. “They can either put it on a shelf, appreciate it, use it everyday or throw it in a dish washer.”

Gagnon’s work is ceramic based and features various house ware items such as vases, mugs and teacups —but with a twist.

“It’s branched into the vicarious, three-legged, more gestured sculptural mugs, and i started experimenting with lustier,” she said.

Gagnon began experimenting with ceramic art due to her chronic eczema condition. Her work explores the different states of clay, the relationship that the clay has with her skin, and the limitations that her condition has on the final outcome of her work.

“I like to concentrate on the way the clay forms,” she said. “It’s very similar to the relationship with my skin and the states of clay.”

But the relationship between clay and skin doesn’t stop there. Gagnon also explores various ways to decorate her ceramic work.

“The theme is hand building, working with print making and the application of surface, and thinking about skin, like glaze and decals,” she explained.

Although most of Gagnon’s sculptures are everyday items that could be found in anyone’s home, every one of her pieces is completely unique.

“A utilitarian object that you’re supposed to use every day, I do make them one of a kind and more like an art piece,” she said. “There’s a conversation of ‘do I use it?’ If it breaks it’s not replaceable, but it should be appreciated.”

Hand Built is showing at the Ranger Station Art Gallery, located at 98 Rockwell Drive in Harrison Hot Springs, until Sept. 5. For more information visit kentharrisonartscouncil.com.

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