Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Full Circle: Joan Bruneau


Artist Statement

My pots function as decorative objects activated through use. Containment, delivery or presentation of food or flowers completes their aesthetic potential. Sensual forms and sumptuous surfaces inspire interaction with the viewer. 

The confluence of function, symbolism, technique and composition drive the evolution of new forms, patterns and glazes. My pottery forms and surfaces take cues from various cultures and periods in ceramics history, natural phenomena and ornament. Shape and surface compositions may evoke a season, landscape, architectural detail, or flower. The variables of form and surface possibilities offer the potential to layer meanings and influences.

Using Lantz earthenware native to Nova Scotia, my wheel thrown and constructed pottery is decorated with slip, sgraffito, under glazes and polychrome food safe glazes. The forms are wheel thrown and assembled using “Cut and Paste” technique characterized by gestural throwing lines, dynamic volumes and structural seams. The surfaces are treated with brushed white slip, sgraffito, under glazes and polychrome food-safe glazes.

Various glaze palettes employed in Full Circle are intended to enhance different foods, from fresh spring and summer salads to hearty, savoury dishes. The flower bricks are also intended to compliment flowers and foliage available through the seasons but also presentation of seasonal foods and flowers, corresponding to a specific shape, glaze palette and function. The Four Season Flower Brick Set, celebrates the natural beauty and diversity of Eastern Canadian seasons while alluding to the four seasons, a universal theme associated with the cycles of life, death and regeneration.The Dutch developed the flower brick form in the 17thc to display highly prized tulips. In this case, individual flower bricks containing seasonal flowers and/or indigenous foliage may be displayed separately or unified in a circular configuration as a set.

The exhibition will also investigate the disruption of natural cycles by human intervention through a series of pieces addressing the globalization of food sources.

This venue offers the potential to attract a broader public audience associated with the farmer’s market who may not associate ceramics or fine craft with broader issues such as the 100 mile diet vs. globalization of food sources. The exhibition in this venue presents the opportunity to bolster the relevance of fine craft and contemporary ceramics within a broader social context.


Joan Bruneau has been a full time studio potter in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Regular Part-Time Faculty in the Ceramics Department at NSCAD University since 1995. She earned her BFA from NSCAD in 1988, and MFA from the University of Minnesota in 1993.

Joan was Assistant Professor at Emily Carr University, Vancouver 1998-2001 and has taught in the Distance Ceramics Diploma Programs at Red Deer College, the Australia National University and Glasgow School of Art .

She teaches workshops and lectures across Canada and the US. Her work is exhibited throughout North America and is in public collections including the AGNS, Canada, Sykes Gallery, USA and Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute, China.

Joan was the 2009 recipient of the Established Artist Recognition Award from the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership and the 2005 recipient of the Winifred Shantz Award which funded her residency at La Meridiana Ceramics Residency in Italy in 2005.

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Mary E. Black Gallery
1061 Marginal Road, Suite 140, Halifax, NS B3H 4P6
(902) 492-2522
Hours: Tue - Fri 9-5 | Sat & Sun 11-4 | closed Mon & holidays

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