November 13 – December 31, 2021

Clay Gardens

Zoë Pinnell

detail of ceramic platter with flowers

Platter (detail), 2021. Earthenware, glaze, underglaze, terra sigillata. Image courtesy of the artist.


Zoë Pinnell is fascinated with gardens: How they grow, interact with each other, and how they are seemingly the perfect allegory for the cycle of life. She purposefully works with clay – which is essentially earth – to transform the material into beautiful objects that call to mind the idyllic gardens that inspire her. As a maker, it is an immersive experience for her and those who get to experience her work.

Flowers real and imagined spring to life in a rich array of colours and texture, layered atop frameworks evocative of garden gates or trellises. There is delight and exuberance in her love of ornamentation – her surfaces vibrate with growth.

As the colder months draw near, Pinnell’s work promises blooms-to-come as we wait while the gardens sleep and rejuvenate.

– Melanie Egan

About Zoë Pinnell

Living in an environment that lacks true nature, I find myself creating my own gardens to become immersed in. The way my gardens grow and interact, they are an imaginary world that becomes a discussion of the cycle of life and death. At the end of their life cycles, these beds of flowers fold back into the earth and disappear, but will grow once again on my pieces.

Zoë Pinnell

Zoë Pinnell is an Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre and a graduate of Sheridan College (2020). Originally from London, Ontario, she was exposed to ceramics in her high school art program. Fresh from high school, she attended NSCAD University but returned to Ontario to attend Sheridan College. Pinnell is one of the founding members of Mudties, a clay organization focusing on the support of artists fresh in their careers and the clay community. She has been awarded the Joan Bennett Award, Best in Show at the Gardiner Museum, Medalta Residency Award, and the Pottery Supply House Award.


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