Pam James views pottery by Lari Robson during the gallery opening Thursday of the Dream Islands exhibit at the Nanaimo Art Gallery. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Pam James views pottery by Lari Robson during the gallery opening Thursday of the Dream Islands exhibit at the Nanaimo Art Gallery. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Potter’s creations inspire other artists to dream

Nanaimo Art Gallery’s latest exhibit, Dream Islands, opened Friday and continues until mid-September

Lari Robson didn’t create just pottery, but works of art, and he liked to share knowledge of his craft. Nanaimo Art Gallery has taken that idea a little further with its latest exhibit, Dream Islands.

The show, featuring Robson as well as artists Sonnet L’Abbé, Derya Akay, Vanessa Brown, Maggie Groat, Yuki Kimura, Anne Low, opened Friday and continues until mid-September.

The work of Robson – a potter who live on Salt Spring Island and died in 2012 – is the central inspiration for the exhibit, notes a Nanaimo Art Gallery press release.

The gallery received a donation of ceramics in 2016 that included a stoneware jug created by Robson in the 1970s.

“Jugs are inherently social objects: they constantly empty themselves out through the act of giving,” the press release notes. “This spirit of reciprocity became a guiding inspiration for the exhibition.”

Leading up to Dream Islands, participating artists were given pieces by Robson intended to inspire new works. The artists then interpreted their reflections through a variety of media including metalwork, poetry, glass-blowing, painting, weaving and other art forms.

Dream Islands will also include a companion event on Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) on Aug. 27 called Island Dreams.

“This event inverts Dream Islands by offering an embodied and communal experience of the physical space on an island, while encountering performances, poetry readings and temporary installations,” according to the press release.

Dream Islands was curated by Jesse Birch and Emma Metcalfe Hurst.

Nanaimo Art Gallery is located at 150 Commercial St. and is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.