Mimicry, adaptation and outright copying are all common practice in the world of Canadian production ceramics. As a result, these designs are often regarded as derivative – second rate and uninspired imitations. However, closer inspection reveals a richer story than we might first expect with results that are often surprisingly authentic and innovative.
This exhibition examines copying through five distinct facets; each reflects a unique aspect of Canada’s young culture. Perhaps the most blatant copies are those that reproduced the Popular Styles of the day. Some ‘copies’ illustrate the concept of Cultural Mosaic, as immigrants add the formal language of their homeland to the national design palette. Others draw inspiration from Nature and the vast Canadian wilderness and some even attempt to recognize the significance of Indigenous Design in Canada’s cultural fabric. Finally, witty Mashups by contemporary designers blend cultural commentary with humour and reveal today’s more relaxed attitudes towards copying.