Renowned figurative ceramic sculptors Jane Burton and Tyler Burton will debut their first collaborative exhibition titled “Sisters” on Saturday, January 26 at A New Leaf Gallery | Sculpturesite located at Cornerstone in Sonoma, California. A reception for the artists will be held on Sunday January 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the gallery. The show will remain at A New Leaf Gallery | Sculpturesite until April, 2013.
Working in collaboration for the first time, sisters Jane and Tyler Burton have created an installation titled “Selective Memory,” comprised of more than 1,200 hanging white porcelain rocks layered over scores of ancestral faces. The 12’H x 7’L x 3’D piece reflects on family ties, perceived family memories, as well as a realization that we are all a fragment of a larger whole. Both artists’ works are significantly influenced by the countless patterns, textures and colors of nature and reveal their reverence for the power and quietude found there. In addition to the one major collaborative piece, both Jane and Tyler will exhibit several solo works each.
Jane Burton has been represented by A New Leaf Gallery l Sculpturesite owner Brigitte Micmacker for more than eight years. “I am thrilled that Jane and her sister Tyler are collaborating on their first show which will take place at our gallery in Sonoma. The idea for ‘Sisters’ grew out of a two-month residency the Burton sisters participated in at the Banff Art Centre in Banff, Alberta Canada,” says Brigitte Micmacker.
“We have always talked about doing some kind of suspended work, and porcelain rocks are a natural for us since we both work in clay and love to collect rocks,” says Jane Burton. “We created each piece and feel like we imbued our DNA, a common gene, on each rock. Our original intention was to create a hanging figure within the rocks, but as it progressed, we loved the simplicity of a suspended box.”
Both Jane and Tyler cite their residency at Banff as extremely productive and inspirational. Not only were they in their element as far as pristine mountains, glacial lakes and great hikes, they had 24 hour access to a fully equipped ceramic workspace, great work study assistants, as well as private studios.
“Working with family or close friends can be challenging, and since we are sisters, you would think it would be extremely challenging, but Jane and I have a dynamic that works really well together,” said Tyler Burton. “First of all, we have the same sense of humor and when together, we laugh a lot. We also have close to the same esthetic and an appreciation each other’s eye. We can anticipate what each other will think about certain things and often we don’t even have to verbalize a thought. I believe this gives us a communication edge.”
Comments Jane Burton on the Banff experience: “One of the goals of the Centre and my residency was certainly met in that I was exposed to international talent from many disciplines outside of visual arts, including dance, music, theatre, performance art and even stand-up comedy.
“I experimented with concepts, techniques and styles new to me,” continues Jane, “shale-like layering, working from molds, dangling layered, hole-filled cones on wire, and while most of the prototypes were left behind in the dumpster, I expect their influences will impact my future work.”
Jane Burton graduated from U.C. Davis in the early ‘70s with a BFA, continued on with graduate school and a career in Graphic Design. It was 20 years later that her passion for ceramics and pit firing ignited, inspired by a trip to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico where she took a Native American pottery class. Burton is currently creating large ceramic sculptures ranging in height from two to 20 feet, and exploring the relationships between vessels and the energy they contain. The forms are reminiscent of the feminine connection to the ancient representations of the goddess; a shape starting small and rising into the fullness of her power and strength.
Jane Burton’s work incorporates techniques such as multiple firings, stains, oxides and slips that create a timeless and aged look. Much of her work achieves the depth of texture and color through a fusion of clay slips and washes, layers of organic and inorganic materials, copper markers and tape and non-ceramic finishes such as gold leaf. Some of her recent works introduces the use of Terra Sigillata (fine clay particles immersed in water) that results in a soft glow. She scratches through the layers with intense journal writing – words that once committed to the work are no longer meant to be read.
In just the past year, Jane Burton’s work has been exhibited in Miami, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Bridgehampton, New York; Healdsburg, California; and two shows in Los Angeles, California. As one of the top gallery artists, Jane’s work is on continuous view at A New Leaf Gallery l Sculpturesite.
The concept of Tyler Burton’s recent work is about belief systems and how they affect all of us. “Our lives are constantly regulated by belief systems ingrained in us since birth or imposed on us by the societies in which we live,” says Tyler Burton, “and our whole existence is built upon what we believe.”
Her current series, titled “Bound by Beliefs,” looks at how cultures throughout the world are bound and limited by beliefs passed down through tradition. Using clay and wood as primary materials, Tyler adds binding metals to express the concept. In her haunting work “A Thousand Reasons,” hundreds of copper nails pounded into the wood express hundreds of beliefs.
Tyler Burton grew up in California and has a strong love of the outdoors, the ocean, the mountains and deserts, all of which has inspired and permeated her work. She enjoys spending hours on a beach looking at rocks, as well as taking alley walks in Los Angeles collecting industrial castaways. She is inspired by hiking, cycling and yoga as well as African tribal art, simplified figures of early Mediterranean culture and the poets Rumi and Mary Oliver. Tyler lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, a wolfhound and a hedgehog. Her works have been exhibited throughout the west coast from Seattle to San Diego.
A New Leaf Gallery l Sculpturesite is dedicated entirely to modern and contemporary fine art sculpture. Amid the backdrop of the beautiful Sonoma wine country, the gallery is the latest realization of co-owners Brigitte Micmacker and John Denning, who founded A New Leaf Gallery 22 years ago in Berkeley, and Sculpturesite Gallery seven years ago in San Francisco. The gallery features a variety of abstract and figurative sculpture by emerging, mid-career and internationally established sculptures. Works displayed in the expansive gallery space are crafted of metal, wood, stone, glass, and other media. Located within Cornerstone Sonoma, a unique destination for art, design, architectural gardens, wine and food, Micmacker and Denning have also created SculptureWALK that features more than 60 large-scale sculptures placed throughout the Cornerstone grounds. Visitors will discover dynamic kinetic sculptures, water sculptures and monumental works sited among world-class garden designs.
With more than 22 years of experience as a gallerist specializing in fine art sculpture, Brigitte Micmacker has built a reputation as a curator with a keen eye who selects each work she brings into the gallery with upmost care. The gallery has placed hundreds of works of art in private, public and corporate collections throughout the United States and abroad. “We are most interested in building long-term relationships with our artists and our collectors,” says Micmacker, “and so we approach everyone with the same high regard for ethics and dedicated service.” The gallery assists in all aspects of the process and requirements needed for each client and site, including sourcing, acquisition, commissioning, delivery, installation and maintenance.