As an emerging artist, I’ve begun to shape my artistic identity around the natural wonders of our planet by combining geology with ceramics. Through this combination, I am able to explore through a modern approach, the timeless beauty and endless stories that are derived from the unceeded land we inhabit.
I draw my inspiration from the stunning natural landscapes of North America, most notably, British Columbia, Arizona and Texas where my family lives. The structural and geological formations found around the continent have triggered an underlying interest in geology which I’ve begun to explore and experiment with. My passion has always been in the natural world and the unique occurrences that happen naturally within it. Combining my love of form, flowing curves, geological formations and malleable material to reflect the wonders of our planet in my ceramic work.
My artistic practice is rooted in the hands-on; the specific learning that happens through material exploration and repetition of form. This act of Kata produces a deep understanding of the limitations and capabilities of the material as my work ethic guides me to produce an extensive body of work. Repetition in my exploration also allows me to drive what is possible in terms of surface and form by altering the technique to fit the desired results. This past year I’ve refined my own methodology to enhance my creation process by incorporating Tim Ingold’s concept of “thinking through making”. The ongoing and improvisational process between material, maker and tool is where my body of work develops and unfolds.
IMAGINED LANDSCAPES OVERVIEW
For my last year at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, I wanted to create a collection of sculptural objects influenced and inspired by an imaginary road-trip through the Southwestern United States. I imagined a summer without COVID-19 travel restrictions and planned a trip where I would drive from my home in Vancouver British Columbia to Houston, Texas to visit my family.
Throughout this year long exploration, I was able to experiment with materiality, kiln conditions, size, scale and surface treatment to gain an in-depth understanding of ceramics as a medium for large scale sculptural objects and as an artistic practice. The dream-like environment created through the use of hand painted murals and sculptural objects brought joy to a year which seemed to continuously deliver bad news and lifted the spirits of not only myself, but my friends and family who were able to view the exhibitions.
My “grad project” is comprised of three exhibitions where the multitude of works I created throughout the year have the space and time to compliment each other and spread joy to the communities they visit.
SPATIAL AWARENESS EXHIBITION
Work inspired by the landscape of Utah and Arizona
This was the first opportunity since the COVID-19 shutdowns where I was able to showcase my work as a collection in a solo exhibition entitled Spatial Awareness. The exhibition ran from March 1st until March 11th next to the Aboriginal Gathering Place at Emily Carr University and was closed to the public due to reduced campus capacity.
Throughout this physical experiment I was able to determine how the pieces I created interacted with the surrounding environment while also playing with the idea of combining multiple collections of work to convey my idea. This was also the first time I introduced mural painting to the exhibition space and loved how the addition of colour and shape to the gallery walls changed the moods of viewers.
Work inspired by the landscape of Utah and Arizona
Earth Bound was an exhibition curated by Anthony Dunlop, a 2020 Emily Carr University graduate, at the Lipont Gallery in Richmond, BC. During phase three of the exhibition I was able to try my hand again at cultivating an imagined landscape inspired by the Southwestern United states. Through mural painting, cross collaboration with my own collections of sculptural works and the addition of new pieces I was able to bring concept into the public sphere to gauge if my concept was landing with viewers
THE PLACES I’VE NEVER BEEN
Work inspired by the landscape of the Pacific NorthWest
For the upcoming exhibition entitled The Places Ive Never Been, I decided to create some pieces which would push the physical limitations of clay as I knew it and allow me to experiment with building larger and in a different way. The contrast in surface, formal orientation and physical size of the work along side some of my earlier work creates a very different landscape which is representative of the Pacific Northwest, where my imaginary road-trip would have begun.
The Places I’ve Never Been Exhibition is an opportunity through earning the Kwi Am Choi Emerging Artist Scholarship through the Port Moody Arts Center in 2020 and will run from May 20th until June 20th 2021 at the Port Moody Arts Center.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nicole Ponsart is a sculptor who lives and works on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations or what is known today as Vancouver, British Columbia. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a Major in Visual Arts and plans on pursuing a Master’s Degree in Ceramics in the coming year.
Growing up a competitive athlete and working artist in Coquitlam, Nicole combines her acute eye for detail with a competitive mindset and ambitious work ethic to produce a large volume of work annually. Her practice is primarily in the medium of ceramics and works to bridge nature with conceptual modernism through her large-scale sculptures. She believes in enriching the arts community through the sharing of knowledge, impacting positive experiences and collaboration with others.
Nicole is the recipient of numerous scholarships through the British Columbia Arts Council and the Government of British Columbia as well as the recipient of the Student Summer Residency at the Medalta Historic Clay District in Medicine Hat, Alberta for the 2021 season. Nicole was most recently awarded the Kwi Am Choi Emerging Artist Scholarship through the Port Moody Arts Council in 2020 and will be hosting her second solo exhibition beginning May 20th 2021.