Anita Rocamora, "Sunset Basket," 2014
Anita Rocamora, "Sunset Basket," 2014, clay and metal, 24” x 20.5” x 13”
Anita Rocamora is quick to distinguish between her two careers – one as a potter, creating small works that sustain her financially, and the other as a sculptor, where she finds freer expression.
But even her small commercial works, like the whimsical bottles shaped like strange fruit at the Hand Wave Gallery in the village of Meacham, east of Saskatoon, where she has lived since 1980, hint of a remarkable mind and a strong material intelligence.
Rocamora’s more ambitious pieces – everything from fossilized flowers to nests and baskets – often combine clay and metal in an elaborate dance, evoking cycles of growth and destruction, reflecting how change is the constant essence of all life.
“The contrast between pure porcelain and the weathered metal and clay is something I’m playing on right now,” she says. “And a sense of history, as well.
“I like to use clay because it’s a condensate of everything that has existed before – from rocks, mountains, creatures – all jammed together into little molecules that become clay.
“I love that history, that sense of continuity with the birth of the earth, and then what I create with my hands, which is another birth, with this material. Eventually, it will go back and get ground up and who knows what happens next.”
Her work has no single source as its inspiration. “It is a distillation of many experiences on a daily and lifelong basis,” says Rocamora, who was born in France and studied ceramics with Jack Sures at the University of Regina in the 1970s. “I get stimulated by visual input, by words, by sounds. I think sometimes what I make is like poetry without words, and stories without words.”
Anita Rocamora is represented by the Hand Wave Gallery in Meacham, Sask., the Mata Gallery in Regina and the Saskatchewan Craft Council. Her work sells for $50 to $2,500.