“I have been working as a ceramic artist professionally since participating in the founding of the Ottawa Potters Guild in 1973. Elected Academician to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2003.
Experience as a painter gave new impetus for clay work and sculpture. Nothing has such “go” as working with clay. I love it. I’ve always sensed this urgency with clay and have spent most of my life working with it in my studio at our home in Ottawa. Drawing to me is an essential way of thinking, and permeates my work in clay. It would make me so happy if my enjoyment in the process of making my sculptures and other clay pieces was sensed by those viewing the work.
My early work was in stoneware with my first solo show was at the Flora Street Gallery around the mid 1970s. I have since changed to using red clay to make sculptural forms.” – Mimi Cabri, March 2013
Represented in the following collections: Art Bank of Canada, City of Ottawa Art Collection, Burlington Art Centre, Claridge (Bronfman) Art Collection, and the Museum of Civilization Collection. Winner of the City of Ottawa Heritage Champagne Bath Art Renovation (1990).
Some recent published reviews and an interview:
Ceramics: Art and Perception, 2012, review article by Léopold Foulem, No. 88, p. 74-77.
Ceramics: Art and Perception, 2008, review article by Nancy Baele, No. 72, p. 101-104.
CBC Television Artspots, 2008, video broadcasts.
Mimi Cabri: A Feast For The Soul
May 2-30, 2013 at The General
Mimi is one of Canada’s most celebrated ceramic artists. Originally from South Africa, she studied in Paris before settling in Ottawa and has since delighted art lovers with her remarkable output of colourful, hand-built earthenware vases, towers, cups, teapots, platters, wall tiles, candle holders, sculptures and commemorative plates.
The surfaces of these luscious, Roccoco-esque ceramic objects are richly painted with slips, stains and glazes in an exuberant pallet. It is perhaps the bold sgraffitio drawing through layers of colour to expose the red clay beneath that is so wonderfully characteristic of a Cabri creation. The energetic surface marks delineate dancing, frolicking figures, fish, animals and birds – all having the most wonderful time. They dance on flying carpets, in fountains and in gardens.
Mimi’s art is unapologetically full of fun and delight. You can’t be in the presence of these wonderful objects without smiling.
Art serves many purposes but in a world fraught with many challenges her art provides balance and makes us happy; it reminds us not to take our selves so seriously. If great art touches the viewer and changes their perspective on things then we can easily see why Mimi is so celebrated.
-Chandler Swain, April 2013