future relics of our time
Serisa Fitz-James, Jack Kenna, and Isabel Wynn
Curated by Andrea Valentine-Lewis
Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, BC
February 19 – March 19 2022
Equinox Gallery is pleased to present future relics of our time, an exhibition of ceramic works by Serisa Fitz-James, Jack Kenna, and Isabel Wynn, curated by Andrea Valentine Lewis. During the Middle Ages, objects associated with holy people and sites were deeply celebrated. Due to their association with saints or with heaven itself, relics, such as bits of hair or body parts, were considered divine. Because the term relic derives from the Latin word relinquere, meaning “that which is left behind,” these objects have become temporal markers for future generations. Reflecting on the material and affective dimensions of Medieval relics, one might wonder, what would constitute a future relic representative of our present time.
The ceramic works by Fitz-James, Kenna, and Wynn concretize a resonant dimension relating to our current–and precarious—social, political, and environmental climate. In its raw state, clay is impressionable and pliant, but once placed in the kiln, it is susceptible to disobedience. Ceramic artists are accustomed to the element of chance inherent in the firing process, and a cracked or caved-in result is typically viewed as unfit for presentation. Rather than disguising such flaws and rejecting the ‘disorderly’ qualities of clay, the works included in this exhibition embrace the negative chance effects of the material to convey both humour and melancholia. Such an acceptance of instability and volatility is in fact a valuable recognition of precarity and the inability to control everything, an attitude that is essential to navigate our changing planet this year, next year, and beyond.
Serisa Fitz-James (they/them) is a Filipinx-Canadian interdisciplinary artist living and working in Vancouver. Recent exhibitions include a solo presentation at Libby Leshgold Gallery in Vancouver (2022) and in a group exhibition at the Mitchell Art Gallery at MacEwan University in Edmonton (2022). In 2021, Fitz-James was selected as Port Moody Art Centre’s ceramic artist-in-residence, developing a solo exhibition We Can Ask for More (2021). Recent group exhibitions include Earthbound at Lipont Gallery in Richmond (2021), August Studios (2021), and In Over Our Heads at Franc Gallery in Vancouver (2020). Fitz-James holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2020).
Jack Kenna (he/him) is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Vancouver. Recent solo exhibitions include Tumbling Blocks at Burrard Arts Foundation, A Clog in the Machine at The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art in Kelowna (2020), Gridworks (2020) and Dairyland (2019) both at Slice of Life Gallery in Vancouver. Select group exhibitions include I Like to Look at Curve Line Space in Los Angeles (2020), In Over Our Heads at Franc Gallery in Vancouver (2020), and Got it for Cheap at 0.0 Gallery in Los Angeles (2018). Kenna has participated in residencies including at Burrard Arts Foundation (2022) and in the Bonnie McComb Kreye Residency in Victoria (2021). Kenna holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Kenna is represented by Equinox Gallery.
Isabel Wynn (she/her) is a Brazilian-Canadian ceramic artist living and working in Vancouver, where she is also the founder of Báhoo Studios, a school focusing on ceramics Wynn’s work was recently presented in collaboration with Demure Creative House (2021), and in a group show at TAS Vancouver (2021). Selected group exhibitions include Earthbound at Lipont Gallery in Richmond (2021), Slice of Life Gallery in Vancouver (2021), and August Studios (2021). In 2022, Wynn will present a collaborative work involving ceramic works and projected moving image with interdisciplinary artist Rodrigo Gares. Wynn holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.