/Harnessing the Elements at AJG 
Master carver Greg Gillespie with his piece Startled part of the Elements exhibit at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery showing until Feb. 25. CHAD INGRAM Staff

Harnessing the Elements at AJG 

By Chad Ingram

Published Jan. 26 2017

“‘Element’ has many meanings” said Agnes Jamieson Gallery curator Laurie Carmount at the opening reception of new exhibition Elements at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre last week. “Basically it means the aspect of something essential.” Artists work with the elements – water fire earth air – all the time to create their work but could not some of that work especially the utilitarian kind also be considered essential?

In a society that has long sucked up non-renewable resources and gravitated to the purchase of inexpenive mass-produced disposable wares Carmount wonders if Westerners have reached a tipping point where they will begin to forgo factory-forged products in favour of those that while more expensive are handmade unique and often more durable.

“I wonder if maybe we’re at a point now where we can say ‘yes’ to a handmade Canadian utensil” Carmount said. “People would hold onto their things much longer and would cherish them.”

From pottery to jewelry to carved pieces Elements features the work of local artists Greg Gillespie Renee Woltz Susanne James Alex Casper Sheila Ziman and Lauretta Peters.

Gillespie’s piece Startled is a depiction of a duck and muskrat parting ways carved from black walnut. It earned him a third-place at an international carving competition last year.

Elements shows until Feb. 25.