John’s studio is like a walk in the woods while having a conversation about history and the Western and Eastern ways of understanding the world. His long practice of working in clay, mostly making large raku pots, evolved into the layering of his ideas and eventually to collage. He was inspired by sculpture artist, George Jeanclos’s clay sculptures whose sensitive and rough layers create a powerful juxtaposition between the rawness and the sublime beauty of life. John’s beautiful earthy collages also express these universal thoughts and emotions.
John’s current work is a collage series that reference beautiful, carefully composed ethereal hand written letters, messages from the past. Layers upon layers rest on carefully eco-printed hand crafted papers as if the nature in the printed leaves hold us all together.
Old photos of forgotten loved ones, beautiful scripts and poems of a language we don’t speak but can understand, antique stamps, sealing wax, and textured glazed shards of clay from earlier work. All these carefully placed imagery encourage the piece to settle into place. These layers are “layers of everything, they are all one thing”, John says. It’s the pull to oneness that speaks through all of his work. Fragments are pieced together, layers are placed and then placed again, colours of the earth and from the earth soothe and invite me to keep looking in deeper as I weave in my impressions.
There are boxes of carefully collected dried leaf treasures stacked high in interesting boxes ready and waiting to be chosen.
He has created many different series all expressing his explorations and understandings of his inner journey. The series called “un coeur blessé”, blesseur, meaning 'wound' has the same root as the word ‘blessing’ is about the wound to the heart being an opening to a larger understanding of life. It is everyone’s journey of the heart. Each piece is made on a square slab of glazed clay which is then fused with a crackled glass heart nesting on shattered, tempered glass, softened by the flame. Blending these three mediums require that the materials themselves travel through their own fiery transformations to create a harmonious blend. The addition of layering meaningful imagery and specially chosen items fine tune his intention. That is a real pearl in the top left corner.
His thoughtful and recognizable work remembers and renews.
Studio - 13599 Cartwright Ave - Rear entrance
Accessible via Railspur Alley, Granville Island