Murderous crows in the Courtyard at the AGB

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 29, 2016


Is this a friendly visit?

Are we looking at three animals getting to know one another?
The dog is perhaps curious but the hunch in the shoulders of those two crows tells a different story.

How does that story end?

The exhibit at the Art Gallery of Burlington in the Dan Lawrie Family Courtyard until September 25th is well worth a visit.

Philpott stills D

The approach – who springs up and out first?

You will want to ponder the three pieces and wonder – perhaps the friendly posture of the dog will change the intent of the crows.

Does the artist, Mary Philpott, tip her hand with the title of the exhibit: A Murder of Crows.

Philpott stills E

Has the dog figured it out? This isn’t a friendly visit is it?

Mary Philpott, a noted functional potter whose work has been inspired by Neo-Gothic architecture and William Morris’ Arts and Craft movement, has in recent years taken her decorative motifs of animals and birds and transformed them into live-sized three dimensional sculptures, a perfect synthesis of nature and style set in our garden courtyard.

Inspired by the colour, narration and design of medieval illuminated books, tapestries and architecture, Philpott’s work explores the story of flora and fauna in her surrounding landscape. At her studio, Verdant Tile Co., she designs custom pressed tile in porcelain. The animals and birds depicted in her tiles are frequently referenced in her sculptural pieces.

Philpot stills - A

Wary eyes – the posture the artist has given each animal is filled with suspense.

In addition to receiving a BFA in Art History and Archaeology at the University of Guelph, Philpott is a graduate of the Ceramics and Design program at the School of Craft and Design at Sheridan College. She has also studied Anthropology and Archaeology at McMaster University, and Ceramics Intensives at Alfred University in New York.

She is the 2015 recipient of the Helen Copeland Award from Craft Ontario for an established artist working in her field.

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