Age of Innocence

anne drew potter

Age of Innocence

October 15, 2020 - February 14, 2021

Age of Innocence describes a short-lived period of childhood in which we are sheltered from the greed, corruption and moral laxity of the adult world. Reflecting on this stage of our adolescent development, the sculptor anne drew potter recreates contemporary allegories, illustrating narrative works that describe for us the way history has been interpreted by giving meaning to the abstract complexities of moral, spiritual and political learning. Through contemporary sculpture the artist creates scenes that combine fairytale-like characters and historical references to real life icons of modern history (such as Anne Frank and Shirley Temple as well as the visual personifications of wealth, greed and poverty).

The tradition of visual allegory predates literacy and has been used throughout art history to illustrate lessons or parables that have existed as examples of ethical behaviour in a just society for centuries. From the works of anne drew potter we recognize the power that allegory and popular culture takes in the construction of historical power. How is it that with such complicated historical and political agendas, that we distinguish between what is right and what is wrong when the answer is never so obvious. How might we stand on the right side of history?

In Age of Innocence, lessons learned from contemporary depictions of the past, can lead to meaningful reconciliation and expose the manipulation of historical truth. It is now more important than ever to acknowledge the power that dominant narratives and visual culture have on our understandings of the present. It is no longer possible for us to be willfully ignorant of the historical narratives that were developed to support systemic power, and the social inequities that shape our cultural imagination, both in the past and in the present.

This exhibition was guest curated by Derrick Chang

Click here to view anne drew potter’s website!

Click here to read a Northern Arts Review article about the exhibition by Hayley Bassett from the Dawson Creek Art Gallery

Image credit:  ‘Ungrouped: Do you have what I want, Do I want what you have?’ (detail) by anne drew potter


Click here to view the exhibition online!


About The Artist

In 2011 I received a German Chancellor's Fellowship and relocated to Bonn and Berlin, Germany for two years. This experience gave me the chance to learn a third language and spend significant time immersed in a foreign culture. I was challenged to adapt my content to a specific cultural experience which was not my own - that of the former East Germany. Through extensive research into the popular culture, art and literature of the GDR, as well as personal interviews and site visits, I developed a body of work that brought together my personal background with this fraught history in a manner that was both unique and authentic. The resulting multi-room installation, Mythology of a History Lesson, was initially installed at the Brotfabrik Gallery in Berlin. A catalog is available for purchase.

I returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2013 to conclude my residency at Pottery Northwest and continue to explore the mountains and a passion for climbing that I have steadily developed since 2009. A timely grant from 4Culture supported the completion of my most recent major project, Vanitas, which was over 5 years in the making. A free brochure of this project is available courtesy of the 4Culture grant.

Throughout my travels I have frequently taught, both in formal academic contexts and community schools. I have given lectures and workshops in both English and German at a variety of academic institutions internationally. Additionally, in 2013 I began teaching climbing and expedition hiking at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) where I particularly enjoy working with underserved students.

I have been awarded the Visiting Artist Teaching Fellowship at the Alberta College of Art + Design for the 2015-2016 academic year, and will be residing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


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