The site looms above and veers past, willing me to compromise, to give ground. I roll and pinch the thing into place, I collect and lay offerings at its feet. This architecture melts and leans, hoarding objects in its folds. It lurches and dares you to approach, it tears cloth and flesh, it collapses with the brush of a hand. Nothing is thrown away. This immigrant lives in fear of waste. Old yogurt is used to jumpstart the new batch. What is worth risking for things to get juicy, rare, ripe? What might be discovered on the verge of things going bad?
Through objects and site-specific installations, Linda Sormin’s work explores issues of fragility, aggression, mobility and survival. Born in Bangkok, Sormin immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of five. She has a BA in English Literature and worked in community development for four years in Thailand and Laos. She studied ceramics at Andrews University, Sheridan School of Craft & Design (Diploma ‘01) and Alfred University (MFA ‘03). Sormin’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Jane Hartsook Gallery (New York, NY), the West Norway Museum of Decorative Art (Bergen, Norway), Denver Art Museum (Denver, USA), gl Holtegaard (Denmark), Vallauris (France) and Middlesbrough (UK). She has taught ceramics for 10 years – at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver, British Columbia, 2003-06) the Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI, 2006-11), and Sheridan Institute, where she is currently Professor and Head of Ceramics (Oakville, Ontario) in the Faculty of Animation, Art & Design.
In the relatively short period of time since graduating, Linda Sormin has achieved international recognition for her ceramic art. Her work is rich in personal history while also addressing social and contemporary issues. There is vibrancy in her use of material and construction methods which in itself delights the eye but more than that her objects and installations encourage contemplation, curiosity and confrontation.
Bruce Cochrane, nominator
Ceramic artist, Mississauga, Ontario and former head of ceramics, Sheridan Institute, Oakville, Ontario
PHOTOS: Frances Juriansz