Romantic Works- Adam Lefebvre

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Medalta International Artists in Residence 

Exhibition: June 16th– August 6th  

Reception: June 16th 7-9pm 

Romantic Works – Adam Lefebvre

This exhibition, Romantic Works, is a progression within my body of work Repair Series. Repair Series stems from an interest in the vestigial – visible traces of something lost or no longer present. These objects are a representation of my fascination with objects that have physical evidence of their histories.

The term vestige is inherent within atmospheric fired ceramics because the resulting surfaces are a literal remnant of the kiln, the fire, and the choices of the firing crew. During atmospheric firing (wood, salt, or soda firing) the placement of pieces near each other affects the path of flame and, in turn, affects the marks and traces of the flame pattern recorded on the work. This leaves an indication of not only the fire of the kiln but also a suggestion of something else that existed. Each piece’s sibling affects its creation, and those marks become permanent as it matures in the kiln

Outside of a ceramic vocabulary, atmosphere is generally associated with the weather and the air conditions of the earth. Growing up on the Canadian prairies, I have been witness to very extreme and harsh weather conditions. So many objects have also been witness to this weather. I am intrigued by abandoned old buildings, barns, farm equipment, fences, etc. that show the impact of this weather. All of these objects reflect the conditions of their life. Abandoned and left to decay back into the earth, these objects symbolize absence and gain a haunting beauty.

The majority of my work lies within the conventions of historic utilitarian pottery, because of this, the objects are easy to relate to because they are familiar. They remind us of our personal familiarity with being broken and put back.

The bathtub is a universal object, and often goes without much consideration. The bathtub is an evocative and conceptually rich object. For some it is a sanctuary, a place to escape the world, a place to relax, or cope with the cruelties that life bring. It could be the place for intimate moment with a lover, or hold bitter memories of relationships gone awry. Maybe it reminds of fond memories of bath time with now grown children, or the memory of being a child playing in the tub with siblings. The bathtub is a vulnerable place, it is exposing, it is romantic.

Film photographs and projected slides trigger a strong nostalgia. The din of the fan when it’s switched on, the sounds of the slides clicking in and out as the images are advanced, the dust in the air glinting as it floats through the beam of light. The analog projection is almost tactile in the way the way it treats many senses. It’s romantic in that it is now a nearly obsolete technology that was once a staple in our lives.

Romantic Works denies the convention that something broken is a failure or should be discarded. Rather, it shows that beauty can be found within the tragedy. By mending in a thoughtful way, the object can be made more beautiful than it was in its original state.


Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Adam Lefebvre took an interest in making at a young age. He completed a BFA in ceramics at The Alberta College of Art + Design in 2015. His work is predominantly atmospherically-fired functional pottery and broken vessels that are repaired with a variety of traditional and non-traditional joinery techniques. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the United States.

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