Location: MacEwan University, northwest corner of 105 St. & 104 Ave.
With works of art from Churchill Square to the Shaw Convention Centre, Clay Ellis is one of Edmonton’s most notable artists. The assembled sculpture traditions of Ohe and Hide can also be seen in this Medicine Hat-based artist’s work. Although reviews of Ellis’ exhibitions reveal that his artwork is deeply influenced by his experience and visual memories of growing up on a family ranch in Alberta, Maundy was in response to a particular artistic residency. He writes:
“A year or so prior to the completion of the sculpture ‘Maundy’ I was invited to attend an artists’ workshop in Botswana. Although access to supplies and equipment was limited, travel was not, and the images of homes and villages set into a vast landscape were more than one could absorb. On one outing I was shown a collection of immense handwoven baskets (used for storing grain), they were of a scale that I had not imagined possible . . . nor could I have imagined that a simple vessel would create such a lasting impression, and redirect my interests in sculpture. While I was never particularly interested in sculpture modeled for the grand or heroic gesture, from that point on, simple objects (vessels, tubs, and basins) would become one of the main sources for [my] inspiration. ‘Maundy’ was one of a series of sculptures influenced by that outing, which was both inspiring and humbling.” (Ellis, 2015)
Maundy Thursday refers to the day Jesus washed the feet of his 12 disciples before the Last Supper.
Collection: The Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Photo Credit: Alberta Foundation for the Arts