Ceramics artist makes his point with humour

Contemporary ceramic art exhibit on in River Heights


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This article was published 04/01/2016 (2702 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The characters and cartoonish ceramic stylings of Jordan Van Sewell have found a temporary home in River Heights.

A collection of the 61-year-old contemporary ceramic sculptor’s works are currently on exhibit at Epsilon Creations (50 Stafford St.). The locally renowned artist is presenting his latest works at Epsilon after a number of years planning the exhibit with owner and friend Bruce Wachal.

“I thought it would be interesting to come and show in this space and reacquaint my audience with my more recent work,” Van Sewell said in the gallery located off of the jewelry store. “I always like to try a different approach at reaching people and this seems like a good way to do it.”

Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester Sculptor Jordan Van Sewell is exhibiting his recent ceramic works at Epsilon Creations (50 Stafford St.) in River Heights.

As a child, Van Sewell developed an interest in cartooning and discovered he could draw as well as Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame and found inspiration in those works. Over his many years as an artist, Van Sewell says his art has moved further from the realm of cartoons to what might be defined closer along the lines of fine art, communicating ideas of morality and responsibility in a way that the viewer can ponder.

“As I gained a voice in my own work, I realized that the way to do it was in ceramic sculpture and I could make three-dimensional cartoons and I could actually reach my audience with humour,” Van Sewell explained. “You get to express very deep themes but you get to do it in a humorous fashion so that it’s approachable, accessible and inclusive of the population.”

His latest exhibit features dozens of Van Sewell’s signature works which he creates in his South Point Douglas studio. Though there is no theme to the collection at Epsilon, Van Sewell said his works are highly symbolic and the references to contemporary and historic issues and ideas, and pop culture are many.

A self-described spokesman of his generation, the critiques on current events and figures in his sculptures (take the Devil’s Wrecking Ball and Kevin O’Leary as examples) are Van Sewell’s way of challenging the norm.

“It’s hard to get up in the morning without being influenced by pop culture,” he said. “You need a joker to interpret what’s going on… I’m expressing intellectual concerns that I have for the survival of our culture.”

According to Van Sewell, each piece in the exhibit has a backstory, or many backstories. With the fine details and attention put into the pieces, a keen observer will also notice some nods to local people and places. However Van Sewell hopes the viewer makes their own interpretation and sees a new story in the sculpture.

Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester Van Sewell’s Devil’s Wrecking Ball is one of the feature pieces in his current exhibit.

“All of those nuances that go into the piece, I think not only make for a better piece but they make for a better message with the art as well.”

The exhibit will be on until the end of January during Epsilon’s regular business hours. For more information find Epsilon on Facebook or call 204-453-2008.

Twitter: @SouwesterWPG

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