Guest Curator, Allan Collier shares insight on Life with Clay: Pottery and Sculpture by Jan and Helga Grove.
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is proud to present this retrospective of pottery and clay by Victoria artists Jan and Helga Grove. It is the most extensive exhibition of their work ever held. Comprised of roughly 60 pieces of pottery and 40 sculptures, the exhibition will include work made by the Groves from 1953 to 2005, shortly before they retired.
Born in Germany, both Jan and Helga Grove trained and worked there in the late 1940's and 1950's. They lived in Istanbul for 5 years, where Jan taught ceramic design, before coming to Canada in 1965. From 1966 to 2009 they operated studios in Colwood, and later in Metchosin where they produced pottery with bright colors and matte glazes, often decorated with geometric and abstract designs.Their work was included in Expo '67 and other national exhibitions and sold across the country.
Included in the exhibition are several experimental pieces - unknown to the general public - highlighting Jan's modernist forms and glazes and Helga's unique geometric and fable animal decorations.
For over 40 years, they also produced clay sculptures assembled from wheel-thrown and hand formed parts. Often whimsical and thought-provoking commentaries on human existence, the sculptures are at once a synthesis of unique artistic expression and advanced technical skill.
The exhibition consists of photographs, exhibition catalogues, artwork, and other historical material documenting the work and lives of these extraordinary artists.