My current work examines and comments upon our culture of acquisition, accumulation and display. The consequences of this strong compulsion to acquire, accumulate and hoard are now all too evident in the world we see around us. The history of production ceramics is crowded with romanticized or idealized human figurines and anthropomorphized animals made specifically for the everyday collector and the connoisseur. Ceramic mementoes adorn countless fireplace mantles, china cabinets, display shelves and store windows. Often these objects carry surprisingly strong emotive meanings and associations. There seems to be a human need to harden and parcel out this emotional value, usually referencing lost innocence or nostalgic longing.
At first glance, my collections appear light-hearted and even whimsical. There are childishly big-eyed dogs and cats. They are Disneyfied pigs, cows and chickens.
These animal “objects” are housed in familiar containers such as old suitcases, boxes, and wagons all suggesting movement and confinement. Mounded together, having imposed upon them an improbable upward climb over and on top of each other, the animal “objects” settle into a precarious harmony. The use of commercial, ready-made moulds to create identical animals over and over again signifies mass production, genetic replication and loss of identity.
In 1994, Wendy Walgate completed a M.F.A. in Ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI and a M.A. in Art History at University of Toronto in 2003. Walgate also received a B.F.A. in Printmaking and Ceramics from University of Manitoba.
In 2005, Wendy was awarded membership in the Royal Canadian Society of Artists. Wendy works full-time at her studio in the historical Distillery District of Toronto and previously taught at the Ontario College of Art + Design and Sheridan College. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Prime Gallery in Toronto and Network Gallery in Detroit. Ferrin Gallery in Pittsfield, MA exhibited her work at SOFA Chicago, SOFA New York, Palm Beach 2 and Art Miami. Her work has recently been featured in British Vogue and the design book Fragiles which was sponsored by Die Gestalten in Berlin. Her work was in a group Gestalten exhibition at Design Miami, in Brussels and in the fall of 2008, Dubai.
In 2009, Wendy lectured about her work at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale and was invited to exhibit at Adventures in Fire, Invitational World Contemporary Masters Ceramics Exhibition in Icheon, Korea.