Modern Eden proudly presents the gallery debut solo exhibition of Susannah Montague. In Susannah Montague's solo exhibition, "When They Find Us," she addresses the intricate challenges of navigating an impending catastrophe and wrestling with climate anxiety, all through the lens of a dark beauty and Baroque sensibility. Montague's ceramic sculptures act as gateways, transporting observers into a surreal realm that captures the visceral essence of confronting substantial and irreversible changes amidst the relentless news cycle and the stark reality of global warming. The exhibition, influenced by the tangible impacts of climate change in Montague's local landscape, delves into the pressing climate crisis, advocating for immediate and widespread action. The emotional turbulence and the imperative to articulate the reality of ecological decline infuse the collection with undeniable intensity.
Within the exhibition, is a series titled "Afterlife" which features 5 sculptures crafted from salvaged antique figurines, exploring existence post-catastrophe as a symbol of transformation and restoration. Departing from the conventional white palette, Montague embraces dripping black and green seeping glazes, symbolizing the dark finality of death and the transformative potential leading to new life. Created from resilient yet delicate clay, each sculpture symbolizes the simultaneous power and fragility of nature, drawing viewers into a world suspended between reality and imagination. This intentional instability invites observers to immerse themselves in a realm of perpetual change, provoking a distinct anxiety akin to the uncanny.
Susannah Montague’s highly symbolic and eerily beautiful sculptures at once draw you in, and repel you. In each the surreal porcelain works, there is a narrative to be discovered. Using a combination of hand building, press molds, and slip casting to build her sculptures, she also references traditions from ceramic fine-craft and art history.
Montague uses symbols such as fading flowers, bubbles, skulls, and insects to represent death and the transient nature of life. These symbols, interspersed with casts of toys including dolls, helicopters, and bunnies, take on a slightly sinister feeling in their modern compositions. Montague’s work examines the cycles in our lives and asks us to revel in the beauty of the absurd.
Susannah Montague is a British born ceramic sculptor, based on Bowen Island, BC. She received her BFA from Emily Carr University and OCAD University.