Taliaferro Jones at Sandra Ainsley Gallery (55 Mill Street, Cooperage Building), to March 19. 416-214-9490. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
You might not be able to visit the sea right now, but a trip to the Sandra Ainsley Gallery is just as refreshing.
In glass sculptures and photography, Taliaferro Jones manages to encapsulate the essence of water and our attraction to it. Jones thinks chemistry lies behind water's magnetic powers: humans are composed mostly of water and get a thrill from seeing its fluid form reinterpreted in glass. The work succeeds because she uses a visual style we aren't accustomed to experiencing. Her show is completely absorbing.
Kiln-cast crystals of jade, turquoise and cobalt stand as firm solids despite their aquatic appeal. In the translucent mix of rippled and smooth glass, details like fine bubbles firmly suspended mid-rise invite inspection. Depending on the time of day or angle of vision, the glass's appearance changes from deep, dark hues to glowing iridescence.
Don't let their simplicity fool you. Jones went to great lengths to form these creations. Among the larger pieces, Embrace, for example, measuring 64-by-71 centimetres, took 35 days just to go through its heating and cooling process in the kiln. Jones is the only artist in Canada to kiln-cast at this scale, and her success is a great feat.
A perfect complement to her sculptures, Jones's photographs also use light by catching its reflections and refractions on the water's surface. If viewing the sculptures gives you the sense that you're exploring the unknown sea with a snorkel mask, the photos make you feel like you've come above water and entice you to dive back down.