The Bronfman Collection 
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Fragmented Penumbium - CMC 2006.93.2 - Photograph: Doug Millar

Peter Powning — Ceramist and Sculptor

Markhamville — New Brunswick

Fragmented Penumbium, 2003
Raku-fired and cast bronze
Bronfman Collection, CMC 2006.93.2
Photograph: Doug Millar

Peter Powning
For 30 years now, Powning's work has been characterized by continuous experimentation and a rare ability to transcend a single medium. His remarkable technical mastery is evident in the way he applies the transformative powers of fire to clay, glass and metal - seamlessly blending them together and creating works of great strength. Although the work is deeply informed by the connection Powning feels with his environment, it remains universal in its concerns with balance, fragmentation and transformation.

Selection Committee Statement

Inspired by nature and motivated by curiosity, Peter Powning creates richly textured works that are metaphorical and mysterious, yet evoke feelings of deep recognition and connection. Fluidly improvised shapes in glass and metal, graceful raku pottery, sublime mixed media wall pieces, totemic outdoor sculptures and dazzling architectural glass - all display an astonishing convergence of skill and artistry.

Powning's pieces evolve from experimentation with concepts and materials, and he says he likes work that evokes a sense of discovery or a new perspective. He describes some of his work as having the feel of an artifact: "an emotional artifact made solid, a cultural artifact from some future/past, reconstructed or guessed at."

While Powning's award-winning work has been shown in more than 60 galleries and museums across Canada and around the world, it is imbued with qualities distilled from a life lived close to the silence, space and seasonal rhythms of his home, the fields, forests and shorelines of Canada's East Coast.

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