A new installation of work featuring sculpture and ceramics by celebrated artists Keith and Celia Rice-Jones opens this week at the Maple Ridge Art Gallery.
Originally from the UK where both developed a shared affinity for eastern and modernist aesthetics, the couple’s work has continued to evolve in captivating ways through their shared home practice at Wildrice Studio in Burnaby.
Despite sharing the same clay, kiln and aesthetic sensibilities, their respective creative output is widely divergent in both scale and style.
Celia Rice-Jones has gained acclaim in the ceramics community for her largely functional vessels, pots and plates that speak to the many years she has spent refining form, balance and surface treatments.
Whether they are put to use in the kitchen or not, these individual pieces are surprisingly light and a pleasure to behold.
“There is a naturally established circular completeness to my lifestyle,” she says.
“I can make bread in the kitchen, tend to the garden on the way to the studio, and make pots to use with food. I enjoy this revolving cycle of activities.”
While Keith Rice-Jones’ work is equally in tune with this environment, his recent large-scale figurative and abstract pieces look more at home at any time of year in an outdoor setting such as the couple’s beautiful garden.
While some are more humanoid in appearance and others more purely abstract, they clearly speak to Keith’s varied influences.
“The design heritage and way of working resonates in my work but there are also hints of a fascination with different cultures and ideas of ritual,” he says.
“Some of my earlier work with stylized functional vessels and containers continues, though my current focus is with large sculptural work.”
It is typical of these artists that they have taken it upon themselves to create an environment within the gallery that lends elements of eastern serenity to the arrangement. Tall plinths are intermingled with long overhead banners and in one corner suggestions of a Japanese garden extend the Asian theme further.
• Tour the exhibit with Keith Rice-Jones on March 23 at 11 a.m. He will also host a pottery workshop, called Zen and the Art of Space on April 7.