In 2006 Brigitte Clavette won the Strathbutler in recognition of her metal work and her contributions to public education through teaching, exhibiting and rendering professional service.
Clavette works predominantly in silver but moves freely between metals to best suit her creative moods. Hammering and burnishing silver, copper she fashions unique pieces of jewelry that express ideas rather than remaining mere body ornaments. Best known for her sculptural vessels, Clavette’s exquisite work can be found in international collections.
The Strathbutler jury noted the power of her work to evoke strong emotion. The exhibition “Memoria” was her personal response to the battle with cancer she shared with her partner Rick Sequin; yet the work transcends the personal. Her vessels hold the essence of mankind’s struggle to understand mortality. Her chalices, entitled Hope, Faith, Radiating Confidence, Sacred Ambiguity, Nourish, Sacrifice, Solitude, Communion and Sanctuary embody the timeless and sacred truths from which all humanity must drink.
Clavette received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, majoring in jewellery. She has operated a studio in St. Andrews before accepting the position of Studio Head of Jewellery/Metal Arts at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, where she is renowed for her mentorship of emerging artists. She continues to offer silversmithing courses at Nunavut Arctic College and the Haliburton School of Fine Arts in Ontario.
Among the artist’s many awards are:
- 2000 Member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
- 2002 Kjeld and Erica Deichhmann Award for Excellence in Craft
- 2006 Strathbutler Award
In the artist’s words
Through my work in metal and teaching, I am concerned with “ways of working.” The way one gets to a final object or expression is forever changing. Although at times, I work through the medium as opposed m drawing, designing and executing, my primary concern for my work is always of basic truth: rendering rituals to everyday routine.
The objects I create are for use, whether contemplative or functional. They invite ritualistic moments, such as burning incense, a prayer or sharing a meal. As my spirituality is rooted in both Catholic and in Buddhist beliefs and practice, my work is imbued with the essences of these faiths. My imagery in the most recent body of work, Memoria„ certainly shows this sensibility.
Life, death, shared experiences, shared paths
My primary concern is always of basic truth, rendering rituals to everyday routing. The objects I create are for use, whether contemplative or functional. They invite ritualistic moments such as burning incense, a prayer or sharing a meal.
The inspiration that lead me to discover this work within myself was ignited by my family life circumstances and supported by key people travelling more or less on the same path at the same time.