I create objects and environments inspired by the natural world that merge with architectural environments to point to and reopen our perception of natural phenomena. I believe that language fundamentally shapes our perception, and the focus of my recent works has been on the metaphors that reify natural phenomena through familiar images such as “fog veil,” “forest carpet” and “river bed.” Through writing and material exploration, I analyze these metaphors, establish new connections, and explore the outward signs of this new interaction. I start with the premise that before its firing, clay is a soft material that can be perpetually transformed if it stays wet. When clay is fired, it irreversibly becomes ceramics. The process of firing renders this material stable and permanent, thereby conserving its characteristics of stability and immutability for millenia. My explorations with this material lead me to develop different strategies for unsettling the inherent characteristics of ceramics and suggesting that this material could be perpetually transformed. My sculptures and installations are hence propositions of potential movement in a material considered immutable. The use of different materials and techniques combined with ceramics allows me to multiply the possible relations among elements occupying a given space. Thus, I activate ceramics in different ways to create kinetic sculptures and installations that suggest a perpetual slippage of meaning in language and in the perception of natural phenomena.
Amélie Proulx completed her MFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in 2010. She has received numerous awards, including the inaugural Starfish Properties Student Award and an Honourable Mention from the 2010 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture competition, organized by the International Sculpture Center in New Jersey. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows across Canada, as well as in the United States, Australia and France. She has received funding from, among other sources, the Canada Council for the Arts, le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Province of Nova Scotia. She currently lives and works in Québec City where, in 2012, she co-founded a collective studio space for ceramicists, Les Ateliers du Trois Cinquième. She also teaches Ceramics and Visual Arts at the Maison des métiers d’arts de Québec and Cégep Sainte-Foy.
Amélie Proulx frees herself from the utilitarian and decorative connotations often associated with the ceramic medium in order to create works that transport us into a dreamlike world. She transforms the inert material into an unpredictable musical instrument that is sometimes animated by the spectator, and sometimes by the programmed mechanism. In her work, excess, apparent lack of composition and elements of surprise are united in harmony. Proulx offers a reflection that is anchored in our contemporary world without, however, neglecting a poetic dimension.
Jean-Pierre Labiau, nominator
Curator of Exhibitions and Decorative Arts, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Québec City, Québec
PHOTOS: Frances Juriansz