Frieda is an emerging Toronto-based ceramic artist and recent graduate of the Ceramics Program at Sheridan. Her formal training has rekindled her passion for working with clay. Her practice encompasses sculpture, functional pottery and commissioned design work. She likes to feel the soft clay in her hands and wants the forms she makes to express that. Her process invokes tenderness and intuition, as well as boldness and spontaneity. Frieda’s work is inspired by elements of nature, inspiration for forms, textures and concepts come from her childhood experiences growing up in Uganda.
Her practice is propelled by a sense of rhythm and freedom in making. Working intuitively, she explores the shapes and colours of the natural world – from the shifting currents of rivers and lakes to the changing landscapes and parched terrains. In pushing the limits of what clay can do, she discovers different ways of making, from bold, large, geological forms to delicate sculptures adding contrast and volume to her work with each process bringing its own challenges.
What initially drew you to working with ceramics?
During my childhood growing up and travels through Africa, I witnessed indigenous cultures create utilitarian and beautiful ceramic sculptures. This memory stayed with me over the years. It was the driving catalyst that prompted me to seek out classes in clay when I moved to England. This passion for working in clay continued when I moved to Canada.
What was the initial inspiration for your piece “Nesting”
My sculptural practice comprises of two very different bodies of work. Lighting Sculptures and a Series of Lakes.
“Nesting” was prompted by my interest in lighting sculptures. These forms are inspired by the poetics of containment and habitat – nests and cocoons. I want to forms to evoke a sense of mystery and curiosity together with having light illuminate from within.
The Series of Lakes are large geological forms inspired by memories of the many lakes I enjoyed visiting over the years. They reflect the beautiful landscapes of the world we live in and keep us mindful of global environmental changes.
Frieda’s work is held in private collections in Ontario and Europe. Additionally, her work has been exhibited at The Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON; Ontario Crafts Council, Toronto; Design Republic, Toronto. A recently donated piece was auctioned off for Shelter in Toronto. Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, 2013. She is also a recipient of the FUSION Technical Achievement Award, 2013 and the Eckenwalder Understanding Clay Award, 2013
Through her commitment to engage in the community she lives in, Frieda has been a Member of the Mississauga Potters’ Guild (MPG) for 17 years and served on the executive committee for a few years. Other volunteer positions were, while in India, ceramic studio aid at School for the Blind Boys, Mumbai Connections, American Women’s Club and Indus in Mumbai. More recently the Sheridan Clay Club, Volunteer for the RBC Awards, Gardiner Museum, 2012.
If you would like further information about Frieda’s work, feel free to send her an e-mail.