Getting obsessed with ceramics


Photo of Linda, taken from her website

Photo of Linda, taken from her website

“You have to be obsessed.”

For Linda Sormin, who has been exhibiting ceramic sculptures since graduating in 2003, obsession is the key.

“You have to be willing to spend all your time looking at things as an artist,” she said. “Without it, you end up being in a medium space. The richest moments come as an artist when you’re immersed in the world.”

Head of Sheridan’s Ceramic department, Sormin has been teaching as well as showing her work since graduating from Alfred University with a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Art.

Having exhibited her work in the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the National Council of Education on Ceramic Arts in Houston as well as many others, Sormin was contacted early this year to participate in the Jakarta Ceramic Biennale in Indonesia.

“I’m not sure how they found me, but they contacted me and invited me to be apart of it,” she said.

One of a hundred contributing artists, Sormin is the only participant from Canada, making it hard to make sure her own pieces are set up correctly.

“It’s weird not being there while it’s being installed,” she said. “I’m used to being really hands on and not being able to working with the lighting is strange.”

The exhibit opened Sept. 24 and runs until Oct. 13.

“It’s exciting to be there. It’s exciting to part of a conversation that’s happening internationally about art,” she said.

Inspired by the landscape of Sumatra where her father’s family is from, Sormin used the mountain ranges and lakes as part of her sculpture.

“I also thought a lot about the tribes there, and researched the Batak myth and its creation stories, particularly the story of twins.”

Batak explains the creation of mankind with the bonding of two divine parented identical siblings.

Antena Projects and the SaRang Residency, a program that hosts live-in artists, allowed Sormin to work on her sculptures from her inspiration and ship the final piece to the gallery before returning to Canada.

“It’s two forms that are regarding each other, they’re staring at each other, raised over these poured colours like lakes.”

Sormin has also just installed a piece for the Chameleon Exhibition in Montreal, which will open today at 6:30 p.m.

“I think traditionally, Canadians especially, are very modest and I think that makes us very likeable, but when it comes to valuing you’re working and the contributions you have to make to art it’s important to respect your work as you would anyone else’s.”