Solo Exhibition:
Trying and Seeing, June 13-17 2023
Anna Leonowens Gallery

The exhibition consists of various ceramic objects which exist in the realm of functional ware, and are idiosyncratic in their forms and surfaces. These works come out of a period of exploration for the artist, as she tries to find her own balance between control and spontaneity, as well as excess and simplicity. Through this process, the artist is also learning to accept the freedom of being unsure. She gives herself space to try and see, as a way of conducting research into her own inclinations.

Artist Bio

Jody Bender is a ceramic artist based in Nova Scotia/Mi'kma'ki. She grew up in small-town southwestern Ontario, and moved to Nova Scotia while attending NSCAD University. She graduated in 2023, majoring in Ceramics. Having previously been mainly a painter and drawer, she discovered her love of ceramics at NSCAD and has since been pursuing it as her primary medium. Her practice is mostly based in wheel-thrown functional ware, seeking a balance between exploration, comfortability, and fun. Besides her passion for art/craft, Jody also enjoys “picking things up off the ground and looking at them”, steadily adding to a collection of rocks, shells, bones, and whatever else offers dynamic textures and colours to admire.

Artist Statement

My practice is based in wheel-thrown functional ware for the domestic space. I have been drawn to functional pottery from the beginning of my ceramics journey due to its utility, immediacy, and power to facilitate connections. The framework that function creates also gives me a jumping off point for generating ideas. Most ideas start purely with the form, and later on decisions are made as to how patterns, lines, and shapes will respond to the form via surface decoration. I draw inspiration from naturally occurring patterns found in things such as rocks and tree bark, as well as various historical styles of pottery. I am also interested in exploring how functional objects may be interacted with beyond/in addition to their typical and pre decided use by adding elements that invite a more fun, sensory experience. My process balances a sense of control with looseness or spontaneity. This dynamic comes from the natural ebb and flow of making, and also stems from being simultaneously orderly/routine-oriented and somewhat impatient. I have a necessity for exploration and speculation, often paired with a “try and see” and “follow through” attitude, which means that the state of my practice is ever-evolving.

BFA, NSCAD University 2019-2023  
Solo Exhibitions  
2023, June 13-17Trying & SeeingAnna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, NS
Group Exhibitions  
2023From the Ground UpNSCAD University Ceramics Department, Halifax, NS
2022From the AshesNSCAD University Ceramics Department, Halifax, NS
2022VitrifiedNSCAD University Ceramics Department, Halifax, NS
2018LimitlessWilmot Recreation Complex, New Hamburg, ON
2017W-O In ContrastWilmot Recreation Complex, New Hamburg, ON
June 2024-PresentCustoms House Artisan IncubatorPort Hawkesbury, Cape Breton, NS
Awards & Scholarships  
2020The Robert Pope Foundation Painting Scholarship 

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