Kathryn O’Regan, "Untitled," porcelain, earthenware, 2008.
Offering, November 7 to 30, 2009, The Gallery of BC Ceramics, Vancouver
BY: Beverly Cramp
“I seldom use a wheel, preferring to work directly with clay starting with coils and slabs,” says multi media artist Kathryn O’Regan. “I mainly work with simple tools. Everything I make is one-of-a-kind and sculptural in form.” O’Regan’s hand-built clay sculptures are organic shapes, often coloured in brilliant hues — they could easily be mistaken for underwater sea creatures. “I’m influenced by the environment around Vancouver — the shapes and textures,” she says. She also paints and makes tiles, which she calls her ‘clay canvases’. But her main focus is on the most basic material. “Clay has always been a base for me,” she says. “I keep returning to it. The excitement of clay has never gone away. I’m always surprised by what comes out of the kiln, even though I have a good idea of what the final piece should look like.” O’Regan will be showing her new clay works, many embedded with glass, at The Gallery of BC Ceramics. Three years ago, she met an artist in Turkey who created huge murals using bits of glass. It inspired her to begin exploring the mix of glass and clay. She continues to travel extensively, recently finishing an artist-in-residence stint in Tasmania. “It’s a great opportunity to meet other artists and learn from them,” she says. “The adventure of learning is ongoing.”