A Nanaimo potter is sharing about his life and the things that matter to him in a new collaborative exhibition.
On July 30, Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery artist in residence Joe Lyons unveils Permanence Resonance. Lyons, who also works at the studio, said while working on the show he starting thinking about how his art and life experiences that inform his art are equally important to him.
“Slowly it evolved into deciding that I could be way more vulnerable with this show and speak about my own life and how my life and what I’ve experienced has influenced the work that I make,” he said “And so it felt appropriate to share some of my own story and that involves other people.”
One of those people is Lyons’s old high school friend Rajnii Eddins, now a Vermont-based poet. Lyons reached out to Eddins last year about working on something related to racial injustice and ended up creating Their Names Are Mine, a pot inspired by Eddins’ poetry.
“I find that that’s really important for me in my life and in the work that I make to speak about issues that I think are important,” Lyons said.
Another piece is Instagramaphone, a functional clay gramophone horn spray-painted graffiti-style by Lyons and Nanaimo artist Lindsay Ford.
“I’ll have a little speaker in the gramophone so that when people walk into the gallery it’s the first thing they see and also there will be music playing,” Lyons said. “Because when I’m making my work I listen to music almost the whole time.”
The exhibition will also see the return of a work Lyons last exhibited at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery about two years ago. Honouring our Mother Earth and Sacred Connections is a four-foot-wide metal dish covered in tiles with the word “mother” written in more than 30 languages. He made it with Falon Marie, an educator he met while working at VIU, and calls it “one of the most important pieces I’ve ever worked on.”
“It’s a piece that is about unity and that we all in this world have different languages that we learn but we all have a mother – a physical mother – and then we all have one Mother Earth,” Lyons said. “And so we are all united in that common experience as human beings.”
The collaboration doesn’t end there. At the exhibition opening, attendees will be invited to write their own mother’s name on a tile to be attached to the piece as well.
“I love how clay allows me to connect with people,” Lyons said.
WHAT’S ON … Joe Lyons presents Permanence Resonance at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery, 140 Wallace St. Opening reception July 30 at 6 p.m. Show runs until Aug. 15.