Kevin Conlin, the magic of clay
Renowned ceramic artist and amateur paleontologist Kevin Conlin tells us why clay is a magic material:
Clay is unlike any other medium. It is a sedimentary material. It doesn’t just appear, it evolves, birthed by the very growth and ageing of this world.
As a representation of time it holds a life, a sense of history.
As a working material it holds a quality which no other material holds.
When intense heat is applied it transforms itself into a material that bears a similar permanence to that of its origin – bedrock.
I felt my first true sense of attachment to clay while attending school at Northern Arizona University in 1980.
I had touched clay before but it was here that I first experienced the true magic of the material.
In my world clay is a workable material, just as it is in nature’s world.
Throughout the eras it has been a storehouse for the life that has preceded us.
In its fine grain sediments one can find a historical record of life.
As an artist I ponder this past and try to hear what it tells me of the future. How far has it come and how far will it go?
Through research and field study I have worked closely with these elements of time.
The fossils in turn become metaphors and icons of the common mortality that all us living creatures share.
My intrigue of the past takes me and my ceramic work into the depths of time and history.
During many of my fossil expeditions I am inspired by the images, patterns and textures that I discover and that have been created through erosion and the forces of nature.
These elements and the fossils themselves come alive in my work to remind us that we are only transient residents in this ever changing world.
Born and raised in Manitoba, Kevin is recognized in the palentological world for his independent amateur contributions.
He has worked extensively in the field, collecting fossils for museums such as the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, Manitoba Museum, and Nova Scotia Museum.
Ceramic training began at the University of Northern Arizona and finished at the University of Regina, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Following this, Kevin went on to teach at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Red Deer College and Brandon University.
Kevin currently works for and teaches at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.
He also continues to produce ceramic art.
An exhibit of a completely new body of work, Sedimentary Antiquity, opened at the AGSM, in January 2015.
Presented alongside this work were pieces from the artist’s extensive fossil collection.
Take a stretch break!
Today, we offer easy stretches for your hips and legs, courtesy of Allseating, that you can quickly do at your desk.
Ideally, for every hour of sitting, you should get up and walk around the floor where you work for a few minutes.
This helps to break up the muscular tension that can build from static postures.
Another great thing to do for your body is to stretch during the day and we’ve asked Iris Sokol, ergonomist and health and wellness expert, to demonstrate how to do that right at your workstation, and you don’t even leave your chair!
Remember, that should always feel good, and if your body hurts while you stretch it means you are stretching too far and need to back out of it.
If you have any body issues or health problems, please consult with your doctor before you try these, or any other type of exercises.