Home / News & Media / Press Releases / Clare Twomey: Piece By Piece

Clare Twomey: Piece By Piece

6 years ago

Acclaimed British Artist, Clare Twomey Confronts 18th century in her first Canadian Exhibit

Dramatic tableau of haunting narratives featured in performative installation OCTOBER 4 – JANUARY 4, 2015

TORONTO, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015—Piece by Piece,an exhibit by acclaimed British ceramic artist, Clare Twomey, will open at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto on October 4, as part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, and runs through January 4, 2015. Commissioned by the Gardiner, Canada’s world-famous ceramics museum, as part of its Artist Intervention Series, the performative installation is a Canadian premiere for Twomey.

Piece by Piece features an army of more than 2,000 ceramic figurines – all inspired by the Gardiner’s rare Commedia dell’Arte Harlequin collection – and demonstrates the conflicting emotions of everyday life. The exhibit will also feature an on-site artist/maker creating additional statuettes to add to Twomey’s ever-growing ghostly white world.

“I was enthralled by Clare Twomey’s work at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City,” says Kelvin Browne, Executive Director and CEO of the Gardiner Museum. “We were thrilled when she agreed to create an original piece that responds to the Gardiner Museum’s collections, to honour our 30th anniversary.

Piece by Piece is something new and intrinsic to us. With this commissioned work, Clare puts the new in the midst of a history, and simultaneously makes what is familiar unexpected and suddenly unfamiliar. It is truly extraordinary to have the blood of creation pumped through the veins of our museum with Piece by Piece.

Clare Twomey’s Piece by Piece brings the 18th century to life through a multitude of haunting narratives evoking war and peace, love and hate, death and destruction, and victory and defeat… all perfectly capturing the complexities of the era.

“Twomey is at the vanguard of artist interventions and we are so fortunate to bring her here for her first Canadian exhibition,” says Rachel Gotlieb, Chief Curator at the Gardiner Museum. “It is a magical installation that combines both making and collecting. Twomey’s enchanted, visual and sensory world is full of signs and wonders – time stops and we forget that we are in a museum; we are in a fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin proportions.”

To view the live performance of the makers, who will continue to build Clare Twomey’s collection of ceramic figurines piece by piece, please visit The Gardiner Museum from:

Monday through Thursday from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Friday from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Clare Twomey Portrait

Born in 1968 and raised in Ipswich, Suffolk, in the United Kingdom, Clare Twomey attended the Edinburgh College of Art, studying painting and ceramics, and the prestigious Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. She was drawn to ceramics for the material’s malleability and ability to connect with the everyday, allowing her to explore people and relationships through her work.

She often works with clay in large-scale installations, sculpture and site-specific works. Over the past 10 years she has exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Crafts Council, Eden Project and Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Tate Gallery in Liverpool, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City), and the Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan.

The Gardiner Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of Presenting Sponsor Partners in Art (PIA).

“We’re pleased to be sponsoring Clare Twomey’s first exhibition in Canada,” says Joanne Thring, President of PIA. “Helping to bring the commissioned Piece by Piece exhibition to Toronto is an exciting opportunity for both PIA and the Gardiner and we are delighted to be highlighting this internationally acclaimed British artist to the contemporary Canadian art scene.”

The Gardiner also thanks Exhibition Partner Hal Jackman Foundation and Publication Sponsor The Max Clarkson Family Foundation.

The exhibit opens to the public on October 4, 2014 and will be a part of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s overnight celebration of art in the city.

For more information on the exhibit please visit the exhibition page here.

The Gardiner Museum is Canada’s national ceramics museum and one of the world’s great specialty museums. Renowned for its extraordinary collections of rare Meissen, Du Paquier and Chelsea porcelain, Chinese blue and white porcelain, Japanese and Japanese-inspired porcelain, pottery from the Ancient Americas, and contemporary ceramics (including an exceptional donation from Raphael Yu), the Gardiner is a leading international centre for the exhibition, study and preservation of ceramic art. The Museum offers award-winning clay education programs taught by professional artists for all ages and skill levels. There is also a bistro managed by à la Carte Kitchen and a shop acclaimed for its unique merchandise in ceramics, glass, jewellery and gifts for the home. In 2014 the Museum celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a series of public events and exhibitions.

For more information, for details on exhibitions, events, workshop, clay classes, and more, please visit: www.gardinermuseum.com.

Founded in 2002, Partners in Art (PIA) is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit corporation of Toronto art supporters with an interest in promoting the visual arts in Canada in two ways: first, by partnering with established arts organizations on collaborative fund-raising projects; and secondly, by furthering members’ own understanding and knowledge of the visual arts through an active education program.

The group cultivates alliances among artists, curators, educators, businesses, and the public to develop vital and exciting contemporary art projects that raise the awareness of Canadian art and artists nationally and internationally. For the past 12 years PIA has raised more than $1.2 million in sponsorship dollars. The group solicits sponsors to fund its activities, organizes fundraising events, and accepts donations from the public. For more information about Partners in Art (PIA) visit www.partnersinart.ca


To preview the exhibit, arrange an interview with Clare Twomey, or receive images or more information, please contact:

Danika Lochhead
Strategic Objectives
416.366.7735 x 290

Similar Articles