“There is nothing in this world that is better than a good idea,” says local artist Anke Lex.
Lex has been working in ceramics for over 20 years. She says one of her favourite parts about creating as an artist is cultivating ideas and helping them to grow and take form.
Lex is exhibiting her most recent work, titled Growing Ideas, at the Tremont Hall Gallery until the end of October.
The idea for the project came to her as most do: in solitude. Formally an avid runner, Lex says an idea would “hit [her] like lightning.” As she continued running, the idea would become clearer and begin to take shape in her mind.
“People have ideas all the time, but to grow them you really need to nurture them,” says Lex. “It’s like a seed, the ground must be cultivated and cared for in order for it to grow into a life-changing concept.”
Lex portrays this metaphor in her Growing Ideas exhibit. She utilizes the maiolica technique to create beautiful and colourful women, who literally have ideas growing from their heads.
Maiolica is an ancient technique rich in culture and history. The term means white tin glaze on earthenware clay decorated with coloured stains, and is rooted in the medieval Islamic world.
The women Lex creates all come from the same mold, but they portray their own values, styles and expressions through the vibrant colours she has painted on their skin.
Lex says most of her inspiration comes from travelling. She has always been drawn to the vibrant colours and vibrant souls she encounters while abroad.
“I always think about the women I meet and how their life might be different than my own. It’s about the female idea. Who they are, what they do and what they think,” she says.
The diverse flowers sprouting from their heads represent their diverse thoughts and ideas, and how they need to be nurtured in order to grow.
Nowadays, Lex focuses more on walking or biking, or even takes to gardening in real life in order to grow the ideas in her mind.
“It’s all about taking time for yourself,” she says. “If you have too much going on around you, an idea will just fizzle away.”