In this exhibition of ceramics and paintings, their works inhabit a muddy space where naïve and pretty
commingle in an attempt to push the boundaries of what is tasteful. As patterns build, naively drawn figures shift
and become at once embarrassed and robust. Tests and scraps are recycled and reorganized to create a body of
work that marks time and persistence; visual cues not only showcase mistakes but also indicate where marks have
been covered up or erased completely.
Resourcefulness exists in tension with formal considerations of color, line and texture, to create awkward objects
that skirt the rules of what constitutes fine art. Recurring characters are placed as stand-ins for personal projections
and ideas, with reduced facial expressions that attempt eye contact, but end up cross-eyed.
From a cache of personal drawings and pictures, Trevor Baird creates ceramic works by imprinting images and
patterns flat on plaster. His work relies heavily on the histories of function, decoration, labor and temporality.
Working initially with comics and image-based narratives, the shutting off and finality of a book or flat image caused
him to look for a way to decontextualize and open an image while continuing to hold or create narrative
possibilities. Repetitive silk screening creates detailed copies of poor images, tenderly painted like watercolors.
Layers build up backward before they are transferred to wet clay, to be folded and forced into shape. Taken from
what can be found on Google under “generic Glass Vase” many of his works begin to represent the western
postmodern image of pottery. Distilled for no obvious reason, they become unobstructive, merging utility and
elegance into an ambiguous 3D form. Bending, ripping, breaking, folding and cutting, the clay takes an outer
industrial form while retaining human touch. The shape of the vase made in porcelain is an attempt to heighten the
importance of the imagery through worth, a push/pull between low and high culture as well as labor, value, and
Simone Blain’s paintings focus on the vernacular, mundane world of human relationships, using a tongue-in-cheek
childlike approach with a direct and pared down drawing style, rendered in paint. Her work uses humour as a
mechanism to speak about sentimentality, heartbreak and romance. Inspired by the quotidian, Blain gathers source
material in such a way that echoes her hyperactive tendency to record her surroundings visually. Many of the
formal considerations in Blain’s recent paintings are drawn from traditional textiles and craft, or photographs that
she collects daily on her cellphone. Frequently employing devices such as repetition of form and texture, color and
composition, her paintings strive for sense of rhythm. Blain’s process is slow, lines build up on the surface in layers.
She cuts away strips of painter’s tape to reveal a subtle relief of paint upon the canvas, producing an image that is
at once meticulous and casual.