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Arts & Cultureconverging voices Lesley McInally ceramic vessels Susan Ukkola encaustic paintings and etchings

converging voices Lesley McInally ceramic vessels Susan Ukkola encaustic paintings and etchings

April 28-May 31, 2015

at General Fine Craft, Art & Design

The exhibition converging voices pairs two artists whose work is vastly different in media yet shares similar aesthetic concerns. Their differences complement each other in interesting ways – including how each considers the effects of time an important factor in their process.

Lesley McInally is a ceramic artist living in Cookstown, Ontario. Her Orkney Series of vessels have a cultural history context influenced by her impressions of the landscape, seascape, weather and archaeological sites of Neolithic monuments found in the Orkney Islands of her native Scotland. Innately raw and exposed to the effects of time and the elements, the textured surfaces of these man-made stone structures tell stories of human influence throughout history.

She is interested in human connections pertaining to “the dialogue between the ancient and the contemporary”, best seen in the graffiti left on man-made stone structures. Ogham, Pictish, Nordic and Victorian carvings in stone surfaces give the contemporary viewer a feeling of continuity and a connection to the ancient past.


Though vessels are traditionally used for the containment of foodstuffs, it could be said that McInally’s also contain imaginings of the past. They mimic the scrawlings of human history, the effects of rain and wind, the bleaching effect of sun and time. Her titles are contemplative reminders of quiet moments spent among ruins on an exposed clifftop in the Orkneys, or perhaps in a farmer’s field behind her Ontario home. In either case, they imbue “a humbling sensation to feel the presence of those who came before us.”

Dunrobin, Ontario encaustic painter and printmaker Susan Ukkola also has sense of time also running through her work. This is evidenced in the layers of shapes, lines and textures that Ukkola fuses into an alchemy of hot beeswax and pigment on a white-primed wood surface.

Ukkola’s work is primarily abstract; her process guided by creative spontaneity. The quickly cooling wax imposes a limited window of time to manipulate it before hardening. This opens up a space for reflection that allows her to “respond to the surface” as it develops, letting a vision of the piece unfold before her. By manipulating and layering the wax with collage, scrawled lines and bits of colour, she expresses the idea of pentimento – the revealing of previous layers from a previous time.


Working in series, Ukkola’s abstract compositions are titled to reflect some personal truths about life. With names like Cycle Series and Vanishing Line Series, she alludes to the belief that we are all continuously moving and responding to the elements – that there are no absolutes in life.

Please join us for the opening on Friday May 8, 7-9 pm.

The exhibition continues to May 31.

General Fine Craft, Art & Design – 63 Mill St., Almonte ON K0A 1A0

For further information, contact Richard Skrobecki or Chandler Swain: 613-461-3463




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