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Deb Kuzyk & Ray Mackie

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Debra Kuzyk and Ray Mackie have been collaborators, working in porcelain, for twenty years. The forms are wheel thrown by Mackie, with sculptural details and painted by Kuzyk. They tend to produce large vessels, inspired by historical ceramics, particularly Chinese. The surface treatments present a fusion of traditional and contemporary outlooks and materials.

“Several themes and directions have persisted in our work. First, we are fascinated with vessel forms and ideas of storage. Second, we are engaged in representing flora and fauna which exist in our North American environment, both as symbols of the natural world, and as unique metaphors for human foibles. Finally, we investigate ideas of collaboration: within contemporary craft culture as an interaction of personalities; and within the ceramic tradition, as a synthesis where the forms of the thrower become a canvas for the decorator.  These three areas of concern are woven together into an evolving body of ceramic work. While the images we present are often realistic, and at times naturalistic, the vessels are profoundly nonrepresentational and part of a tradition of functional storage wherein symbolic emblems are related to interior consciousness and exterior physicality,” Debra Kuzyk and Ray Mackie.

They both hold BFA’S from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). Kuzyk also has a BED from the University of Saskatoon and studied at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Mackie has a BA from the University of Saskatoon, a BED from Memorial University, Newfoundland, and holds an MFA from Indiana State University. Their full-time ceramic practice as Lucky Rabbit Pottery began in 1999, the Chinese year of the rabbit, when they moved to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.

Their functional, highly decorated pottery has been continuously sought after. They have participated in many exhibitions since, most notable Fire and Earth (organized by the Burlington Art Centre, 2002) which travelled to Itabashi Japan and toured Canada, Unity and Diversity (organized by Cheongju International Craft Biennale, 2009), which took place in Korea, and the solo exhibition In an Ancient Garden, curated by Gloria Hickey and held at MSVU Art Gallery in Halifax, 2011. In 2016 Deb Kuzyk and Ray Mackie exhibited at SOFA Chicago art fair with Studio 21.

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