David Kaye Gallery » Heidi McKenzie

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China Unbound
April 2 - 26, 2015

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My studio practice engages issues of identity and belonging. During my time in China, in the spring of 2013, I experienced both creative and technical breakthroughs. I realized that through abstract portraiture, I am able to capture humanity - an individual, a culture, or society. I expanded my experimentation in conceptual and material ways in which clay, in its ceramic form, conveys “static motion.”

I work in two different palettes or “ideascapes”: tonal and primal. The tonal draws on the variegated hues of raw clay bodies, while the primal is based on the colour-wheel’s saturated pigments. My shapes also draw on two opposing ideas: linear curves and basic solid three-dimensional forms; bands of thrown and altered clay, coaxed into kinetic rhythm versus foundational geometry.

China Bound is a series of work that reflects the duality of China that I experienced during my artist residency in Jingdezhen, 2013. Much of the country seems intent on aspiring to hyper-capitalism, while at the same time the soul of the country - its tradition - refuses to be quashed. In this series I try to capture what I believe to be at the core of this duality. Placing the forms in asymmetry at the centre of the altered vessels speaks to the caveats placed on freedom and innovation, where tradition is encircled and bursting with new energy.

Mimesis While in Denmark at Guldagergaard Centre for Ceramic Research in the fall of 2014, I started to make my first complex moulds. My objective was to reframe both the individual and society through abstract portraiture, using the vocabulary I developed in China. I aim to challenge us to examine the varied facets of our lives within the context of social responsibility.

Reaching is a technical and intentional extension of a “mistake” that occurred in Denmark. The series of work, though playful, comments on western society’s craving for constant momentum - always striving for something more.

Chi is a series of work that has its genesis in my own 18-year transformative journey through the practice of tai chi chuan and chi qong. I designed the original forms upon which the moulds of the yin yang and bagua base were made and worked with the craftsmen in Jingdezhen China who fashioned the pieces. Chi is the energy, the life force in each of us.

Essence is the beginning of new work where I move from the macro to the micro, focusing on “soul sketches” of an individual, finding the movement and spectrum of their inner voice.

GALLERY

Heidi McKenzie, Body Mimesis, 2014, stoneware & porcelain, decals, 31 X 28 X 7 in.Heidi McKenzie, Foursome, 2015, stoneware, 14 X 14 X 12.5 in.Heidi McKenzie, China Bound No. 6, 2013, porcelain, 5 X 5.75 X 7 in., SOLD.Heidi McKenzie, China Bound No. 2, 2013, porcelain, 4 X 5.5 X 3 in.Heidi McKenzie, China Bound No. 4, 2013, porcelain, 6 X 4.75 X 4.75 in., SOLD.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, 2013, porcelain, 6.6 X 8 X 7.5 in.Heidi McKenzie, Tourmaline, 2015, stoneware, acrylic paint, 17.25 X 6 X 9.5 in.Heidi McKenzie, Citrine, 2015, stoneware, acrylic paint, 12 X 6.75 X 7 in.Heidi McKenzie, Essence No. 3, 2015, porcelainHeidi McKenzie, Essence No. 3 (detail), 2015, porcelainHeidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.Heidi McKenzie, China Unbound, Exhibition installation views.

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Infinity Series

The Infinity loops are inspired by the mathematical subfield of knot-theory. The emphasis is on rhythm, motion, and fluidity, vibrating in perpetual motion – frozen in time.

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Infinity, 2012, stoneware, 7 1/4 X 10 1/4 X 9 1/4 in.

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Infinity 1, 2012, stoneware, 4 3/8 X 11 X 7 in., SOLD.

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Infinity 2, 2012, stoneware, 5 X 7 X 6 in.

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Infinity 3, 2012, stoneware, 6 X 11 X 7 1/4 in., SOLD.

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Infinity 4, 2012, stoneware, 3 5/8 X 10 1/2 X 7 1/2 in.

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Engagement and Maru are series of sculptural pieces that speak to the complex dynamic of human social interaction. In both series the inter-linked rings fashion a weathered permanence that belies the fragility of their medium. The rings’ patinas hint at the trials and tribulations that are part of the transformative process of living, which is both collective and individual. The underlying theme is that of community coming together, engaging in cooperative ventures that depict the old adage of “the whole is greater that the sum of the parts.” Each individually thrown ring is unique. The pieces themselves are seamless - without beginning or end - lending a sense of mystery and eternal optimism to the work.

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Maru 3, copper matte raku size approx 9 X 4 X 3 in.

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Maru 3, copper matte raku size approx 9 X 4 X 3 in.

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Maru 6, copper matte raku size approx 13 X 4 X 3 in.

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Maru 6, copper matte raku size approx 13 X 4 X 3 in.

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Engagement 1, black stoneware, glaze, size approx. 14 X 10 X 6 in.

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Engagement 1, black stoneware, glaze, size approx. 14 X 10 X 6 in.