Kendra Yee: Commonplace

February 27th, 2024 – April 21st, 2024

Kendra Yee, Alignment, Mixed Clay Bodies, Slip Engravings. 2019.

Opening + Artist Talk: March 3, 2024, 1-4pm (Artist Talk at 2pm)

Kendra Yee’s residency exhibition features an installation of over 100 clay tiles inspired by memories. During her time at the RMG, Kendra Yee put out a call for collaboration, inviting her friends, supporters, and RMG community members of all ages to share a personal story with her in the medium of their choice. In the studio, Yee spent time with each memory – observing how she felt, what she saw, what she read – before imprinting clay tiles with gestures inspired by the specific event or mood of the submission. Yee used glazes and slips of different colours to paint designs on the surface of each tile, carving textures and three-dimensional forms with sharp tools and her hands. In some cases abstract compositions capture the essence of a detail-rich reminiscence. In others Yee uses her imagination to animate the gaps in fragmented sketches or poems.

In this work, Yee encountered many memories featuring loved ones and experiences in nature. Several individuals shared stories about their health or accidents, events that reoriented their perspectives on life. Caring for these offerings with her labour, Yee has created an installation that honours the exchange of personal stories as a sacred act of trust and connection. Her tiles represent the way she received, and will continue to hold, each memory, while the installation, which takes the form of a large dining table, points to the spaces where we gather and share stories with one another.

The artist gratefully acknowledges support from the Canada Council for the Arts for this exhibition.

This program is supported by the RBC Foundation’s RBC Emerging Artist Project.