NAOMI YASUI: CHAPTER XI: VASES: July 12 - 18, 2013 

Made in the last year, these seven off-white porcelain vases are minimal in colour yet dynamic in form.  Standing roughly 7”x7”x15”, each vase bares the maker's hand in its pinched base.  The vases differ in their forms, some precariously balancing, and are glazed in a variety of matte neutral tones: splashes of crème, light grey, and oatmeal.  These neutral glazes highlight the lines created by Yasui’s fingers when shaped on the potter’s wheel. 

Combining her pottery with botanical watercolour painting and floral arrangement, Yasui will work with Heather Goodchild to activate the exhibition.  Each day of the installation, Yasui will create a floral arrangement in one of her vases that will become the basis for a still life watercolour painting. The staging and study of these vases and botanicals lends insight into an ongoing process and practice. The watercolours and their still life subjects will remain on display during the run of the exhibition.

For the artist, the staging of these vases is intentionally provocative, taking what can be culturally perceived as feminine or leisure pursuits and questioning their place in a contemporary art setting. Inspired by early 20th century floral designer Constance Spry and her 1934 opus Flower Decoration, Yasui’s work seeks to fulfill Spry’s invective “to open your mind to every form of beauty.”

“I explore romance and ritual in my working methods and I am fascinated with the intimate bond between maker and object,” says Yasui.  “This performance and installation enforces the notion of an aesthetic pursuit rather than a concrete objective, blurring the lines between professional and amateur.”

This is the first time this work has been exhibited in Canada.  It was originally presented in Berlin, Germany at Sur la Montagne Gallery in 2012.

Naomi Yasi is a Toronto-based ceramic artist working in sculpture, performance and installation.  Yasui’s conceptual practice revolves around process, form, and happenstance.  Yasui is co-creator of The Wardens Today with Heather Goodchild.  She exhibits in Canada and internationally.

The artist wishes to gratefully acknowledge support from the Ontario Arts Council.