Magazine article Ceramics Art & Perception

Connection X Connection: Paula Murray

Magazine article Ceramics Art & Perception

Connection X Connection: Paula Murray

Article excerpt

Paula Murray's powerfully contemplative exhibition Connection X Connexion at Art-image et espace Odyssee in Gatineau, Quebec inspires awe while inviting a relationship with the intangible self. At the heart of the exhibition of new work is an installation of 95 suspended porcelain scrolls, forming a series of swagging crisscrossing bridges that run the full length of the gallery. On the wall behind the hanging scrolls is a large white ceramic disk covered by hundreds of flat strips curling back and overlapping each other. As the installation moves toward the foreground, progressive piles of scroll debris, like a trace of missteps, are scattered on six additional blue disks below the bridge until it finally meets the floor in a quiet explosion of unfurling scrolls. Lights shining through the bridge leave ghostly shadows like ephemeral memories that time will eventually erase. Evoking the passage of time, the scrolls are fragile and brittle, resembling birch bark or ancient parchment and yet, being ceramic, they have the permanence of stone. Murray's expert manipulation of her material is obvious as the delicate linear cracklings within each scroll suggest intentional markings like a form of ancient writing. This notion is echoed in a complementary work from the artist's Sanctuary series. On a side wall, two long wooden shelves, still bearing the traces of their organic origins, hold an assortment of standing scrolls that oscillate between an old-growth forest and a library of ancient universal knowledge.

The bridges of paper-thin scrolls conjure images of precarious crossings between two mountains where any of a number of steps might give way under the weight of the traveller. …

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