eight cases of water at Harbourfront Centre's Uncommon Objects (York Quay Centre, 235 Queen's Quay West) to September 16. 416-973-3000. Rating: NNNN
genre snobs will give it a miss, but anyone who believes that art should pack a hefty dose of anarchy will enjoy the bite lurking in the mini-display programmed by Harbourfront Centre's Crafts Studios. Some of the stuff -- notably Harlan House's brilliant Pond Platter, which dishes up an illusionistic 3-D school of feeding koi, Martha Glenny's geographically sited one-off jewellery, and Joanne Noordhuis's naturalistic heap of porcelain tea lights masquerading as seashells -- is all about technical virtuosity.
But Eight Cases Of Water doesn't stop there. Thirteen small humanoid black-and-white ceramic vessels dance with humour in Barbara Klunder's Bodies Of Water, while Brad Sherwood marries water and flame in a deceptively simple blue blown-glass form.
The narrative gets more intense as the vertical vortex of glass strands sucks viewers into Brad Copping's Hidden Turbulence and Mary Anne Barkhouse's reverent hand-carved beaver bows to a chalice in her slyly spiritual Keeper Of The Water.
Eva Ennist's Global Water Village, constructed of tacky tourist paperweights (Niagara Falls! Monaco! Paris! Barbados!) providing camouflage for her own customized models (like Gooneyville, or the apologies-to-da Vinci Mona), is the true Trojan horse. By the time you've taken it in, it seems obvious that the ninth glass case, containing a fire extinguisher and canvas hose, is an important part of the show.