Canadian, b. 1956
Terminus Ultimus, 2002
paper clay, glass
158 x 38 x 38 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor, funds administered through the Winnipeg Foundation, and with funds from the Volunteer Committee to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program/Oeuvre achetée avec l’aide du programme d’aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du Canada
Grace Nickel’s ceramic practice pushes the expectation of clay. Retaining, yet moving beyond the vessel format, she works in complex installations where pieces coexist, interacting with both the physical space they inhabit as well as the surrounding components with which they share it. Terminus Ultimus was part of the installation A Quiet Passage, exhibited at the WAG in 2002. The focal point of the installation was three large ceramic free-standing columns which supported slumped glass bowls, the latter lit dramatically from above. This piece was the third and final column to be experienced by the viewer. The works presented in A Quiet Passage, including the column reproduced here, reflect Nickel’s interest in architecture, and also the profound effect her father’s concurrent fight with terminal cancer had on her. The forms, colours, and motifs used on the columnar support combine contrasting elements of the architectural, the organic, and the human. They suggest at once stability and fragility, body and spirit, death and regeneration.