Grace Nickel, MFA ’08, recently had her work Uprooted – Winnipeg 2007 accepted into the Unity and Diversity Exhibition at the Canadian pavilion of the Cheoungju International Biennale in South Korea. The Biennale, which runs from September 23 to November 1, 2009, is the largest and most outstanding fine craft-based biennale in the world.
NSCAD faculty member Dr. Sandra Alfoldy, currently on sabbatical, has been appointed the national curator for the prestigious event.
In 2006, Grace began to photograph the flood-damaged banks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers that meet in downtown Winnipeg. “The photographs show the intense patterning of the deeply cracked earth and the many devastated trees that are revealed when the floodwaters recede,” she says in her artist’s statement for Uprooted – Winnipeg 2007. “The floods and resulting erosion along the banks of the rivers in Winnipeg, provide a perennial testament to the unrelenting force of nature.”
“In an attempt to address the dual nature of existence in the centre of the city, and the constant reminder that all that exists is vulnerable to the ravages of time, I have begun to create ceramic trees…Broken and cut fragments of trees that have been destroyed and left to deteriorate are collected and cast in plaster. Once the plaster moulds are made, they are used as press moulds. Embedded into the walls of the rebuilt ceramic trees are traces of branches, leaves and veins, a record or memory of the trees’ former existence.”
“The ceramic trees...stand as memorials to a former existance - one rooted in another time and place."
Uprooted - Winnipeg 2007
Photo: William Eakin