February 5 - April 11, 2021
Ruth Chambers' solo exhibition, Tend, draws upon the elegiac traditions of floral still-life painting and systematic enumeration of plants by unsung botanical illustrators. Chambers pinches, plucks and pulls exquisitely detailed, life-sized flowers from lightly tinted porcelain clay. She faithfully observes and renders each bulb and geophyte plant from life – sometimes juxtaposing the delicate fold of a wilted petal with a vigorously swollen bud and succulent stem.
Unlike live plants, the specimens pinned to the wall and display tables in Tend are chalky and brittle – arrested and calcified in various stages of sprouting, blooming and withering. Drained of their vibrant colour, pale hollyhocks and chalky hyacinths float away from the wall, a spectre of their exotic roots.
Ruth Chambers works primarily in ceramics and installation, often incorporating innovative approaches to ceramic sculpture. She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and internationally, including solo exhibitions as Koyegama Gallery in Tokoname, Japan, the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario and the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. The work in Tend grew out of an artists' residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramics Research Centre, Denmark, in 2018.
Bulb, Unfolding: Close Observations on Making and Growing [one of three stands], Porcelain, Oak, Plywood, Foam Core, Felt, Pins, each stand 65 x 83 x 102 cm, 2018-2021.
Photo: Don Hall
The Artist would like to thank:
Simon Chambers Crease, Holly Fay, Brian Gladwell, Jeannie Mah and Mirielle Perron
Listen to the Tend audio tour, artist Ruth Chambers walks your through her exhibition of porcelain flowers in conversation with AGR curator, Sandee Moore (click here to listen)
Video Tour (click here to view)
Exhibition catalogue with essay by Julia Krueger
See our workshops page for information about learning opportunities led by Ruth Chambers:
Porcelain Sculpting from Life with Ruth Chambers online demo: Friday, March 26, 6 pm
In-person workshop: SILT Studio (POSTPONED)
Martin, Ashley. Ruth Chambers' porcelain plants a reminder that nothing lasts forever. Regina Leader-Post, Feb 25, 2021, https://leaderpost.com/entertainment/local-arts/ruth-chambers-porcelain-plants-a-reminder-that-nothing-lasts-forever
dovell, brayden. Artist profile: Ruth Chambers. The Carillon, Regina, Feb 25, 2021, https://www.carillonregina.com/artist-profile-ruth-chambers/
Beatty, Greg. Petals in Winter. The Prairie Dog, Regina, March 11, 2021, https://prairiedogmag.com/2021-03-11/petals-in-winter/
MacPherson, Jera. Ruth Chambers, Botanical portraits in porcelain made stem by stem. Galleries West, March 12, 2021, https://www.gallerieswest.ca/magazine/stories/ruth-chambers/