Christopher Reid Flock
Before his first introduction to clay at the Burlington Arts Centre, Reid majored in English literature and violin at the University of Western Ontario. After mentoring with the preeminent potter Kayo O’Young in 1998 and studying at Sheridan College School of Ceramic Design, Reid moved to Ibaraki, Japan where he lived and studied ceramics for nine years. He returned to Canada in 2009 and has established his studio practice in Hamilton, Ontario. Reid’s professional career as an experimental ceramic artist continues to grow since his first exhibition in 2007. In 2014, he was awarded the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics.
Moving to Japan in 2000 profoundly changed my life. During nine years of selfdirected learning, exposure to Japanese ceramic art, and working under the tutelage of a master ceramicist, Maeno Yoshiki, in Ibaraki, I was able to deepen my appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic as well as come to a heightened awareness of who I am as a Canadian. Not only did I learn a new spoken language, I mastered a new artistic language. My recent work has reinterpreted the root of functional objects. I have contrasted the scale between Canadian and traditional Japanese teapots and bowls, making the Canadian or western interpretations so much larger and more industrially and artistically complicated. I have also interpreted Sogetsu Ikebana (flower arranging) in ceramic, adding oversized truck tire treads and sections of garden-hoses. My large-scale pots have great ribbon-like clay appendages that flow out from their interiors and sides imitating the wrapping cloth on traditional Japanese kimonos. It reminds viewers of something recognizable and classic while also inspiring them to think beyond the norm and enjoy an original interpretation. While photographing my work during different stages of production, I began to Photoshop the images using Gaussian, saturation, and hue filters in RAW format. I then imitated the immediacy of these virtual prototype surface sketches by applying flat and iridescent shades of blue, red and yellow latex paint and other materials to my post-vitreous state vessels, giving them a wholly original appearance. This sense of freedom to explore and engage has taken me to marrying rapid prototyping technologies with classical clay processes.
July/August 2015, 2016