19 November 2018


Exhibition Reviews | Maddy Howard

So, what's your zodiac sign? I'm a Sagittarius, which I guess means that I'm generous, idealistic, and have a great sense of humour. I like to think that's pretty accurate.

Sagittarius. Photo courtesy of Maddy Howard.
On Friday, the Gardiner Museum welcomed a new exhibition dedicated to the twelve Zodiac signs. David R. Harper: Zodiac explores the twelve signs of the Zodiac through the medium of ceramics. The exhibition is inspired by the astrological imagery associated with each sign. These works create a rich way of looking at and interacting with the Zodiac. The artist explains the works are "not based on what we typically read for a certain sign, but how those characteristics translate into the world." 

These original works were commissioned as a part of New + Now, which is an annual celebration of emerging artists and contemporary ceramics, both in Canada and internationally.

Leo. Photo courtesy of Maddy Howard.
Now, you're probably wondering, "what on earth does hide and seek have to do with this exhibition?" Well, I'll tell you. Zodiac is one of the more interesting and unique exhibitions I've been to recently and that is because each piece is spread out throughout the entire museum.

That's right, the exhibition is not in one place! Pieces are interspersed around the museum, intervening in the regular gallery spaces and encouraging visitors to participate in this museum-wide scavenger hunt.

Aries. Photo courtesy of Maddy Howard.
I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition and was totally invested in going through every single gallery and finding the Zodiac pieces. I would recommend grabbing the Zodiac pamphlet at the beginning of your tour (which you can grab at the counter when you purchase your ticket). This way, you can see what each piece looks like, but it won't tell you where to find them. That's all on you. 

Make sure you check every. single. room. And maybe bring a pen to check off pieces that you've found, which I did to make sure I saw every single piece. I missed Cancer and had to go back through to find it.

Zodiac map. Photo courtesy of Maddy Howard.
The exhibition encourages you to walk through the museum and enjoy the wide variety of ceramics on display. These pieces are meant to be found and enjoyed with the rest of the works in the galleries. When you're looking around the galleries, keep an eye out for the little sign beside the works that indicate the piece is a part of Zodiac. It was really enjoyable to walk through a gallery and spy that little sign and know that you've found another piece.

There are no labels to tell you about the piece, but I actually enjoyed that pieces stood alone and stood out to the visitor. All the information you need is in the pamphlet, and it allowed visitors to take their own meaning away from the works. 

Zodiac label for Aquarius. Photo courtesy of Maddy Howard.
Zodiac offers visitors a fun and unique experience. By dispersing the pieces throughout the museum, visitors are encouraged to embark on their own scavenger hunt. You become responsible for finding the pieces and seeing the complete exhibition. It also promotes visitors to hit every single room, to check and see if there is a Zodiac piece there. There are some spaces that I might not have been interested in seeing if I wasn't looking for the different signs. It was rewarding to find the installations, but to also experience the whole of the museum, instead of picking and choosing only some galleries to see. 

Pisces. Photo courtesy of Maddy Howard.
Zodiac opened November 16, 2018 and runs until January 6, 2019, so wander on over to the Gardiner Museum to find your own Zodiac sign.


1 comment:

  1. That exhibition sounds very interesting! I love astrology and read my horoscope on astrosofa nearly every day. I think I will visit this exhibition so thanks for your advise! :)