Pj Anderson is an early career ceramic artist from Thompson, Manitoba, Canada. Pj has shown internationally, as Resident Artist at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, where she had previously visited as a Zulu ceramics researcher, China as a finalist in the International Ceramic Magazine Editors Associations (ICMEA) emerging artist competition, the United States; such as the Craftforms at the Wayne Art Center and Unwedged at Pottery Northwest. Pj has lectured at the University of Manitoba, the University of Kwazulu Natal, for the Manitoba Craft Council, and the Manitoba Craft Museum and Library. She teaches ceramics for the City of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery studio Programs. Her work can be purchased at the Winnipeg At gallery, Grollé Gallery, and the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery.
Website: PJ Anderson Ceramics: A Day in the Clay
Events (full schedule)
Thursday, September 26
- 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. – EXHIBITION RECEPTION for Contemporary Traditions and Allusions: Anderson, Fowler and Ten Zulu Potters, Collections Gallery, ARTlab
- 7:00 p.m. – KEYNOTE ADDRESS: with Dr. Kent Fowler: rm. 136, ARTlab
Friday, September 17
- 9:30 a.m. to Noon – STUDIO DEMONSTRATION, Ceramics and Sculpture Building, rm. 115
Contemporary artists working with and making with technologies passed down throughout generations reinforces connections to cultural practices and community in a way that resonate strongly with me and some aspects of my work. While the uppercase dialogue of my work changes with each new series, the undercurrents of my work reference the longing for connection to cultural resources that were lost to the fallout of the colonial era.
Each world view is a cultural product developed by a community and shared with its members. It is from this base that I have explored craft, identity and culture; how these variables impact my world view and how I can explore and express my relationship with them all. My work draws from Hundreds of years removed from the involuntary migration of my Jamaican, Indigenous and European peoples, I feel a strong kinship to their traditional crafts of basketry and ceramics. We have very few stories or skills passed down, because they were forbidden. I was initially trained, not by a grandmother or an elder but an art school. It is an uneasy thing, to learn about one’s own cultural heritage from elective classes, taught by Scholars and Anthropologists not members of that group. I also struggle with the realization that without these scholars and anthropologists I would know very little about the cultures from which I was born; the stories about my past kin-people would be largely forgotten.
My work is informed by that uneasy relationship between my indirect knowledge of my ancestors; from the coil and burnish technique used to build the ceramic vessels, (a fabrication method used by both African and Indigenous American) to woven additions (again, both used in African and Indigenous Craft production) to how I strive for a connection through using these techniques. There is no implication that my work is African or Indigenous. I am Canadian, and thus my work is Canadian, with all that title carries with it. While my work references specifically aspects of my own cultural identity, I must acknowledge that the vast majority of Canadians also belong to a culture of removal and reinvention of cultural identity. These works are unique to me but also speak to the larger phenomenon of the evolution and transformation of Canadian identity as a whole. We are all of us building something new, together.