“Rare Reflections" — Grenfell Campus Art Gallery, Corner Brook, NL

“Rare Reflections,” Grenfell Campus Art Gallery, Corner Brook, NL

"Rare Reflections" was a two-person show combining 14 of my hollowware pieces with 15 wall-hangings by textile artist, Hilary Rice (www.mestudios.ca). The exhibit was on display from June 23rd to September 10th, 2011.

Hilary and I collaborated for 2 1/2 years in preparation for this show. We found many connections across our different mediums of expression. For example, Hilary typically layers her fabrics then erodes through them to reveal patterns and textures, and this precisely parallels what I do in the lamination technique of mokume gane (woodgrain metal). Also, Hilary and I both studied music at university. The lines in our visual art tend to be lyrical, and there is counterpoint in the layering and dimensional integrity of our art.

Normally Hilary prefers to use bright colours and rich earthy tones. However, for our two-person show, she consciously chose a muted palette of pastels, golds and silver-grays. Little accents of rich colour do appear and these parallel the occasional use of coloured gemstones in my hollowware. Another clear connection can be seen in the metal foil and mesh and melted pewter textures that Hilary regularly incorporates in her textile works.  


Cover of "Rare Reflections" catalogue, Blue Wave Bowl by Wesley Harris and "Hunger for Beauty" by Hilary Rice
"Grasses Vase" by Wesley Harris and "Echoes from Beyond Within" by Hilary Rice
The cover of the Rare Reflections catalogue features one of the direct pairings in the show. My "Blue Wave Bowl" contains a ribbon of abalone shell set directly into its edge thickness. Hilary's "Meditations" features a wave of blue with a ribbon of text along its edge which repeatedly reads: "Why do we hunger for beauty?". As the wave crests the text breaks free and the letters become scrambled. WIthin the blue area is also subtly stitched the word "BEAUTY". Truly, beauty is before our eyes but we don't always see it.
This shows another of the direct pairings in the show. My brass "Grasses Vase" (patined by being coated with vinegar and exposed to ammonia fumes) shows traces of golden brass through the otherwise blue and black colouration. Hilary's "Echoes from Beyond Within" (two of three panels seen here) reflects these colours and patterns and includes a golden circular focal point.
Wesley Harris and Hilary Rice before the opening of "Rare Reflections"
View of "Rare Reflections", Grenfell Campus Art Gallery, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada
Just prior to our opening on June 23rd, 2011, I am photographing Hilary Rice in front of her most colour-filled piece in the show.
Another view within the gallery of our Rare Reflections show.
Opening of "Rare Reflections", June 23, 2011.
Another of the direct pairings between Hilary Rice's and my work. As I constructed the Sterling Water Pitcher using strands of round wire, I loved how the resulting pattern appeared classic like a fluted column while also feeling organic like blades of grass side by side. I asked Hilary whether there might be a way to create something comparable in textiles. Her response was wonderful and free. She found a way to closely sew strands of heavy silver cord side by side thus reflecting the wire pattern of the pitcher.
A view of the gallery during the opening reception on June 23rd, 2011. My wife, Margaret, is seen at the right in this picture.