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Gardiner Museum



November 20, 2012

Exhibit offers voice to those who have faced adversity

TORONTO – November 20, 2012 – Exploring the lives of women who have been touched by violence, Transformation by Fire, a groundbreaking exhibition originated by the Gardiner Museum in partnership with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, is set to open at the Gardiner Museum on February 7, 2013 – running through April 28, 2013.

The culmination of the last 10 years, this never-before publicized program has now given way to a landmark exhibition. Featuring clay as the medium for storytelling, Transformation by Fire takes visitors on a visual journey and provides real life examples of how to be strong and grow in the face of adversity. It explores women’s experiences in a sensitive, informed and compelling way, and provides accessible and inspiring role models for anyone who has either experienced or witnessed violence.

“Clay is a uniquely therapeutic medium as it is malleable, responsive and expressive,” explains Alexandra Montgomery, executive director, Gardiner Museum. “The sculptures created by participating women literally give shape to their experience which serves as an integral part of their healing process and which can effectively communicate their journeys to anyone who encounters their work.”

The exhibition showcases clay sculptures by clients of the Barbra Schlifer clinic who participated in art therapy workshops in the Gardiner Museum’s clay studios, as well as work by Susan Low Beer, a Canadian ceramic artist who worked with Susan Thomson and the women for the last decade.

Transformation by Fire is organized by the Gardiner Museum and the Barbra Schlifer Clinic, with art therapist Suzanne Thomson, and artist Susan Low-Beer.

The Gardiner Museum is in the process of raising the funds necessary to offer free admission during this exhibition to ensure there are no barriers to entry, and so that anyone who is interested in this issue, or who has been impacted by violence against women, can attend.

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About the Gardiner Museum
The Gardiner Museum connects people, art and ideas by offering an intimate look at one of the world’s oldest and most universal art forms - ceramics. The Museum’s collections span continents and time, giving a glimpse into the development of ceramic processes, decoration and form. Year-round, the Museum mounts special exhibitions, events, lectures and clay classes to complement its permanent collection.

The Museum also features a casual café that serves delicious fare prepared by Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, and the Gardiner Shop, which specializes in artist-designed, artist-made merchandise. More information about the museum and its exhibitions can be found online at www.gardinermuseum.com. Members of the media can register to access the Gardiner Museum’s online media room (www.gardinermuseum.com/mediaroom) where they may download images and additional media materials.

About the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic provides free legal, counselling, interpretation, information, and referral services for women who are experiencing or have experienced violence including intimate partner assault, incest/childhood sexual abuse, and adult sexual assault and other forms of violence. In Barbra Schlifer’s memory, the Clinic is committed to the belief that a response to the issue of violence against women must address the individual needs of women, systemic change, and social justice. The Clinic currently receives referrals from countless community-based agencies, as well as medical, legal and criminal justice professionals, religious organizations and individuals concerned about violence against women, and more than 3,600 women were helped last year.

For more information please contact:
Lisa Raffaele PUNCH Canada
o. 416.360.6522 x239
c. 647.896.0743

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