With a mood that is funny but also slightly uneasy, the works suggest that alien abduction scenarios might be a way to work out sexual anxieties and desires.
—Alison Gillmor, SCENE reviewer
Distributary is the latest in a spate of eye-opening exhibitions sponsored by the Manitoba Craft Council, and further proof that the local craft scene has really got it going on.
When it came time to title this show of seven ceramic artists, curator Chris Pancoe liked the Winnipeg-ish association with rivers. Historically, clay for earthenware was often taken from river beds. There's also a metaphorical dimension: A distributary is water that branches off and flows away from the main stream, and these seven ceramic artists -- all Manitoba-based or with strong Manitoba connections -- are definitely heading in some new directions.
Using a traditional craft material to make smart, subversive statements about complex social issues and psychological ideas, these artists deal with sexuality, with alienation, with the precarious relationship between the human and natural worlds, with the tricky creative balance between chance and control.
Kevin Stafford's "False Memory" pieces picture a nocturnal encounter between a tanned, muscled man and a spooky feline space-cat. With a mood that is funny but also slightly uneasy, the works suggest that alien abduction scenarios might be a way to work out sexual anxieties and desires.