Downtown Vancouver exhibit displays porcelain artworks

Jolinda Linden has 16 pieces highlighting her creative methods on display

Two clay works by clay-based artist Jolinda Linden displayed at the Pendulum Gallery in Vancouver until Dec. 15. (Suneet Gill)

Five clay works by clay-based artist Jolinda Linden displayed at the Pendulum Gallery in Vancouver until Dec. 16. (Suneet Gill)

Clay-based artist Jolinda Linden is displaying 16 porcelain-on-panel pieces that explore her relationship with the artistic medium until Dec. 16 at downtown Vancouver’s Pendulum Gallery.

METHODS” consists of Linden’s new and older work and acts as a “survey” for the different techniques she has come up with since early 2000, which is when she started creating clay art on panels.

“I love my medium. Sometimes, just blank panels and a block of porcelain are the inspiration,” Linden says.

“But again, because this show is a survey of all the methods, it’s a little bit [confusing]. It’s not super concise … [but] it’s not all over the place [either]. It’s very consistent because [there] is a porcelain base on all of them, but there’s a lot going on in the show.”

The free exhibit includes methods like “circle square,” which is where squares of clay have circular centres drilled in them, and “spiking,” meaning Linden hand-forged aged porcelain into sharp spikes before firing them, reads the didactic panels at the exhibit.

The artworks act as a different way of viewing sculptures and paintings by having clay components on panels, Linden says.

The exhibit includes “Transformation,” which depicts a snake, and “Soup Can,” a piece Linden has chosen not to sell. It shows a Campbell’s tomato soup can and is a tribute to the works of American visual artist Andy Warhol.

However, her piece is different from Warhol’s depictions of the soup can in two ways. While his cans are red and white like the original, Linden’s is just black.

Also, the crest on the cans in Warhol’s artworks have been used by Campbell’s since 1900. However, Linden researched archives and found one the company used in the late 1800s, which looks like the Russian coat of arms.

“That piece is special to me just for the time that it was made, during the shutdown, how intricate it is, and also because the other pieces from that series have sold. So now, I hold that even more precious,” Linden says.

The exhibit also has other pieces from that collection, called the “Iconographic Series,” such as ones illustrating angel wings and Barbie.

Linden’s process begins with a block of her favourite raw porcelain. She chooses to keep the name of the clay private, but gets it a couple of times a year from California on a large pallet that weighs more than 1,000 pounds.

She prefers that specific clay because of how it reacts in the kiln, how it works when wet, and that it is a pure but soft white.

“I use very few tools, and I do that because with clay, you could go a million directions. There’s just so much opportunity I find with working with clay,” Linden adds.

She uses wood slats to roll out the wet clay before cutting it with an Exacto knife. Only then Linden usually uses one other tool to follow her methods for creating her artwork.

Her pieces are also either mono or duochromatic, meaning they have one or two colours.

Linden got inspired to have her exhibit displayed at Pendulum Gallery after driving past it one day. She says she knew prior that the gallery hosts a pre-gala for an auction run by the non-profit Arts Umbrella, so when she saw their building downtown, she contacted them.

“It’s such a cool gallery space because it’s not your traditional gallerist that has their stable of artists,” Linden says. “It’s transitioning all the time. It’s a public space. Any artist can apply to be in that space.”