Clay Work > Politics on My Plate: Serving Our Daily News La Politique à l'assiette: les nouvelles au menu

The cursive text was gathered from one day of news on May 12, 2017. This commemorative plate had its first firing in the kiln on World Press Freedom Day.
Clay, Underglaze, Glaze and Slip
6 x 33 x 33cm
2017
Girl Guides of Canada cancelled all trips to or through the US citing their commitment to being “inclusive and diverse.”
Clay, Glaze, Underglaze Tissue Transfers and Commercial Decals
6 x 33 x 33cm
2017
$295
Facebook, with its 2 billion daily users and massive computational power, has changed our views on privacy. Facebook recently bought Instagram and on it goes. Has our privacy become a commodity to exchange for access to technology?
Clay, Underglaze, Glaze and Slip
6 x 33 x 33cm
2017
$295
In Canada, the five most commonly used words in facebook status updates are: day, hangover, loud, ticket and word.* Clearly, most of what we write is a bit inane. We click, tap, swipe 100’s of times a day on our mini computers with their mesmerizing scree
clay, glaze, underglaze, ceramic oxides, commercial decal, glue, and nail polish
41 x 39 x 9cm
2018
Taken together, Alberta and Saskatchewan have the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per capita in the world.  If a country, these two provinces would be in a league of their own with emission levels three times those of the worst two GHG emitters, th
clay and glaze
33 x 33 x 6cm
2018
Included in Fireworks2017 the FUSION: Clay and Glass biannual traveling Juried exhibition.
Clay, Underglaze, Glaze and Slip
2017
$295
My daughter and her baby arrived at the Ottawa Airport with two mini sticks to take as gifts for her brother and his new baby in Calgary. They were confiscated by security.  She sent a wry text to her husband about the loss, “It’s a small price to pay for
clay, glaze, photographic decal
33 x 33 x 6cm
2018
From the counter I picked up a yellow plastic stick with Stephen Harper’s face and asked the sales person, “What’s this?” She replied, “A fly swatter. It’s our best seller.”
Clay and ceramic xides
6 x 33 x 33cm
2017
$295
The three Graces from Greek mythology have become entwined over time with the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity. The image reproduced of the Graces is based on a Raphael painting, but without the apples. In a mural, also from the 14th century,
clay and glaze
33 x 33 x 6cm
2018
Online advertisers use precise algorithms to predict and understand our buying habits.
Clay, glaze, and photographic decal
6 x 33 x 33cm
2017
$295
I made this as a retirement gift for my husband when he finished his career as managing director of Union Development with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Canada's largest union.   He adopted the adage, “What you pay attention to grows” and
clay, handbuilt, sprigs, slip, glaze, ceramic oxides, photocopy transfer, Chinese tissue transfer, and commercial decals
62 x 24 x 24cm
2018

Politics On My Plate: Serving Our Daily News
2018 AOE Arts Council, Shenkman Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON

Politics on My Plate: Serving our Daily News explores the role of the media, inequality and fighting back. It's an exploration of the economic and political paradoxes that arise in our day to day lives with dry wit, irreverent thought, combinations of imagery, and a sharp knife. Source material is the day to day absurd, books, the rabbit hole of the internet, daily news reports, and an examination of the various roles and responsibilities of the maker as consumer, activist and family member. Politics on My Plate fuses a contemporary critical artistic practice with the sensory, hand built nature that comes from working with clay as part of the craft arts.

For this exhibition, I align myself with a lengthy tradition of political ceramic art. I riff on the idea of the traditional commemorative plate, play with a DIY aesthetic and offer up frank, observant political imagery which is given backbone by its accompanying commentary. The subject matter is found all around us: the women’s march and Mary Poppins’ boots, airport security confiscating mini sticks, cheeky fly swatters, and text from Jane Austen writing in the late 1700’s that has been adapted for today, “facts are such horrid things.”

Working with hand crafted paper clay, the regular circle of the homey commemorative plate is eschewed. Because the large wall plates are hand stretched, they become misshapen during the handling process and the red clay edges, although rough, become the frames. On top of this is poured a surface of crackled white porcelain, a reference to our shared colonial history, upon which images and text are added. The look is not precise and precious but stressed, depicting a world in flux and conflict. The images, when viewed in the context of their narrative background stories can be politically fun, frank, and possibly rude and confrontational. Ultimately, as a maker, I want to connect with the sympathetic viewer to share common concerns and experiences.

“My personal challenges for this exhibition were technical and material based. I was set on incorporating various texts, ceramic transfers and photographic decals into my work, most of which was new to me. “ – Puck Janes