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Emerging Kootenay artist exhibition heralds in the New Year at Oxygen

By Contributor
December 14th, 2014

The Oxygen Art Centre is inviting the public to the opening of Mater Familias a sculptural installation by ceramic artist Kathi Hofmann in the New Year on (Friday), January 9, 2015.

Hofmann was born in the Okanagan and has been living in Nelson since 1996.  After a short career in Geology and some global travelling, she returned to school to study art at Emily Carr University, Langara College and finally, the Kootenay School of the Arts, graduating from the clay studio. 

In 2013 she received a grant from the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance to make a shift in her creative practice from that of a functional potter to a sculptor. 

For those of you who are familiar with Hofmann’s functional ceramics, and who doesn’t eat or drink from one of her well crafted eating vessels, then you are in for a surprise, as Hofmann has taken a giant leap into the world of sculpture.

What we will see in this premiere exhibition of Hofmann’s new direction are a series of ceramic based assemblages that combine hand built ceramic work with other materials and found objects. Her new work holds nothing back as she launches in to a variety of unpredictable combinations of materials and forms.

In the combining of which, Hofmann finds engagement in what she refers to as the “dramas of materials… their inherent qualities, how they are connected, and the emotional resonances they provoke.” Her mixing together of dissimilar objects leads the work towards a conceptual read, much like visual poems, they cause the viewer to pause and ponder the relationships Hofmann is presenting.  

 The work is accessible through its reference to the human body formed from the clay body, which is after all the material of creation myths. This fidelity to material supports an underlying serious tone to the work that might otherwise be dismissed as frivolous.

The fact of the matter or Mater is that embedded in these forms is an intuitive working of materials that only someone who has had their hands in the earth could find emergence of a new language in a familiar material. There is room for more and more is what Hofmann intends as she launches into this new path.

Hofmann’s Mater Familias opens at the Oxygen Art Centre on Friday, January 9th, 2015.

An opening reception will take place between 7-9 p.m. The artist will give a talk about her work on Saturday, January 10 at 4 p.m. The exhibition will run until February 7.

The gallery is open from 1-5 p.m. Wednesday thru Saturday.

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