The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, ON, will celebrate Alwyn O’Brien and her work, and present to her the 2015 Winifred Shantz Award on Saturday, November 14.
“O’Brien, from Saltspring Island, BC. creates ceramic sculptures to push the medium as a vehicle to explore the metaphorical and literal question “What is the Vessel?” With an extensive knowledge of the history of decorative arts and a passion for the baroque, O’Brien’s objects challenge the definition of the vessel through the use of lacey hand-rolled coils in a deliberate yet chaotic way to construct volume and shape. Pinching, rolling and fingerprints are evidence of the hand and connect the material to the body.”
O’Brien received her MFA in 2010 from the University of Washington in Seattle and her BFA from Emily Carr Institute. Her work is featured in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, the Surrey Art Gallery, and the Mackenzie Art Gallery. She divides her time between Saltspring Island, B.C. and Vancouver, where she is currently an instructor at both Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Langara College.
Alwyn will receive $10,000. This prestigious national awards allow early career practising ceramic and glass artists to undertake a period of independent research, or other activities that will advance their artistic and professional practice at a key moment in their careers.