Weaving Tales: March 1 – April 16, 2017 exhibition with copper tapestries by Sayward Johnson at GFCChandler’s multi-disciplinary approach to ceramics has won her a loyal following. Her recent work delves into figurative storytelling via anthropomorphized characters in utopian settings. Always concerned with the way we can use fine craft in our daily lives, she has constructed elaborate centerpieces meant to be decorative, functional and narrative. Technically masterful, they are hand-built using porcelaneous stoneware and coloured with stains, oxides, glazes and cold finishes. This series has another purpose: that of illustrating the human propensity to control nature through the use of poisons. Chandler notes that, “dangerous pesticide that is banned in other countries and known to kill all flora and fauna, is used in local areas that we need so much for pollination and wildlife habitat. It’s also where rainwater collects and becomes our drinking water.” Her narratives imagine a world of better human/animal/nature co-existence that embodies respect and mindfulness. A real illustrator at heart, Chandler tells stories with conviction, delightful fantasy and poignancy. She has become more convinced over time that making and bringing art to the world supports healthy communities – and may be her little contribution to a better world.
Black & white incised porcelain series:
Slab-built porcelain ’collage’ series with stains and glazes:
Chandler Swain studied painting at The Ontario college of Art and Hornsey College of Art in London England before switching to major in ceramic art at Sheridan College in the mid 70′s. She took her knowledge of design and surface decoration , inspired by artists such as Honore Daumier, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Looney Tunes animators, Joe Fafard and many more , into the world of clay.
Her work is known for strong, lyrical, graphic and textural surface and often whimsical subject matter. She varies her studio practice between making vessels and figurative sculpture depending on what influences are at play. Play is the operative word as this is the driving dynamic of her life: the great cosmic and human comedy…so full of adventure and possiblilty!
She has held popular summer pottery courses at her riverside home near Almonte for many years teaching this approach to craft: play and take risks and the technology will follow. Besides this Chandler has helped create venues that help artists exhibit and network with the public such as www.thenewartfestival.ca and www.260fingers.ca .
This experience has lead to the creation of General Fine Craft with friend and colleague Richard Skrobecki. She has become more convinced over time that making and bringing art to the world supports healthy communities and may be her little contribution to a better world….
“Can adding interesting objects to the plethora of creations be of use? If successful art means that a beholder is inspired or changed, even one small fraction by associating with ones art, even for the length of time it takes to drink a cup of tea, then the journey is worth it. Check it out: buy one of my mugs!” Chandler Swain: 2012