September 11, 2023 – Nearly a year after Hurricane Fiona impacted Prince Edward Island, a new exhibition from the PEI Crafts Council (PEICC) offers a platform for Islanders to reflect on shared experiences in the wake of the storm.
Presented at Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Destruction Recrafted: Hurricane Fiona Up Close and Personal features work from 17 Island artists. PEICC invited craft makers to share their experiences and emotions through their work to help bring Islanders together, move past the trauma, and to make something beautiful out of the devastation.
“Hurricane Fiona left a path of destruction that has changed our Island landscape. It brought the power of nature and ever-increasing effects of climate change into sharp focus,” says Ayelet Stewart, PEICC’s executive director. “Many people were strongly affected physically, emotionally, and psychologically by Fiona, and art can help us process such earth-shattering events.”
Inspired by the carnage in Island forests and on the shores, the artists interpreted their own experiences, the effects of the hurricane, or the beauty that they still found around them. In many cases, they were able to incorporate actual debris from the storm into their work.
One of the pieces created by Jessica Hutchinson, titled Soup for Days, is hand-built red stoneware created from driftwood and ash glaze from fallen spruce and apple trees.
“I made these driftwood spoons in response to spending 18 days without power,” says Hutchinson. “My family and I mostly ate things that were easy to cook on our propane camp stove: soup, beans, lentils, stew, curry – all things enjoyed with spoons. I wanted these spoons to look very basic, primal, or caveman-like to mirror the primitive feelings and sense of despair that I was succumbing to without power.”
The exhibition is curated by Paula Kenny and Linda Berko, and features work from: Jim Aquilani, Alex Bevan Baker, Ellen Burge, Ashley Anne Clark, Fairouz Gaballa, Trudy Gilbertson, Jessica Hutchinson, Cathy Murchinson Krolikowski, Arlene MacAusland, Lucas MacDonald, Rilla Marshall, Noella Moore, Julia Purcell, Nora Richard, Ayelet Stewart, Jane Whitten, and Bette Young.
Destruction Recrafted: Hurricane Fiona Up Close and Personal is on view now until January 7, 2024 at the Frederic S. and Ogden Martin Concourse Gallery at Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Cathy Murchinson Krolikowski, Portrait of Fiona, stained glass
Jessica Hutchinson, Soup for Days, hand-built red stoneware; ash glaze from fallen spruce and apple trees; driftwood
Alex Bevan Baker, Fiona “Treepot” Set; stoneware, wild clay glaze
Emily McMahon, Communications Manager, Confederation Centre of the Arts
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