Featuring the work of:
wood block prints
hand spun weaving
Dark Ages Re-creation Company
& Steve White
painting & drawing
Catherine VamVakas Lay
600 Markham Street
Catherine Crowe has been enameling for 24 years. Originally self taught,
she has since taken workshops with master enamelist Fay Rooke which have
stimulated her work enormously. Catherine has been teaching for 15 years
at various venues including a credit course at George Brown College in
Toronto. Catherine’s love affair with Irish Culture initially sparked
her interest in enameling. This began with an interest in traditional
singing, which she still pursues, but her interests have expanded to include
many historical and mythic themes. Building cultural community has been
an abiding passion for many years. With artist collective An Droichead/The
Bridge she strives to make both traditional music and visual art meaningful
in a contemporary cultural context. Catherine is also one of the past
contributors to ‘Reflections of the Conquest’ at the Woodstock
"My goal is to imbue the objects I make with meaning. I work with
a grammar of ornament that comes from the past, Iron Age, Celtic, Byzantine,
Medieval - but my goal is to speak to the present. Each piece has its
own story, informed by research in early history, mythology, anthropology
and folklore. My vision is to mirror the past, and speak to the present
through ancient symbols.
Throughout history the articles deposited in one's grave have been an
important reflection of the relationship with death and the afterlife.
Sometimes the articles have been entirely symbolic, but often they were
items believed to be of use to the deceased in the afterlife. I have chosen
to explore the very concrete sense that people in the past had of death
being the beginning of a new life more than as the end of this one."
Raised brass bowl with champlevé enameled escutcheons and
There are few graves throughout history that do not include some
kind of vessel. Life giving water was considered to exist on both
sides of the mortal coil, and often a trip across water was the
defining moment of entry into the next world. But a drink in the
afterlife was something that would keep you there - and was symbolic
of your altered state.
(collaborative piece with Charles Jevons)
Brass fabricated box with riveted champlevé enameled panels
Reliquaries were not usually buried with people, but instead carried
the bones of deceased saints believed to contain miraculous power,
thus acting as a miniature portable graves. They are a powerful
symbol of how the deceased could still affect the living.
Enamel on copper
Funerary masks represented not the actual features - but a sort
of idealized version of the dead person, how they perceived themselves
as existing in the afterlife.