The Colborne Art Gallery is pleased to present Bowled Over, a solo exhibition by Gallery Member Annie McDonald.

Annie McDonald is an artist balancing light and darkness, attempting to defy gravity with the sculptural forms she creates.  I had the opportunity to talk to Annie in her studio recently and our conversation ranged from issues of poverty, hunger and hopelessness to energy, light and optimism. The title of Annie’s exhibit, “Bowled Over” describes being constantly astonished by life.  Despite being challenged by discouragement and outrage, the human spirit defies suppression, buoying us up to greet another day with hope.

Annie says she can’t ever remember a time in her life when she wasn’t an artist, she finds comfort in the act of making things. As a member of The Colborne Art Gallery, Annie draws on the support of her fellow artists to grow and expand her practice and it’s clear that her work is an essential expression of her passion for the world she inhabits.

With the newly created work in this exhibit, Annie explores aspects of our increasingly urban landscape, makes reference to the energy and struggles of the high school students she works with and releases little dreamlike bubbles of optimism.

There is a tension created between heavy self-contained stoneware forms that seem to hover at floor level and figures that leap and soar along the walls. Annie’s pieces invite the viewer to contemplate the ways in which we are influenced by our environment and experiences; at once bearing the weight of world events and personal despair, then surging forward with renewed determination and hope.

Annie has been influenced by the writings of Antonio Gramsci, finding particular resonance with his expression of “the pessimism of the intellect, the optimism of the will”. This duality is reflected in the themes explored in the exhibit as well as in the use of the stoneware medium.  Annie has consistently tested the limitations of the materials and process, pushing through technical challenges to produce pieces that defy their ceramic form and seem to breathe.

Please join Annie and the other members of The Colborne Art Gallery at the opening reception for “Bowled Over” Saturday April 20, 2013 from 2 – 4 p.m.

The exhibit runs until May 26th.

– Barbara Buntin –