Margot Ariss was born in 1929 in Belleville, Ontario. She moved to London in 1940 and attended H. B. Beal Secondary School where she met her husband, artist & teacher Herb Ariss.
Margot began working as a sculptor in the late 1950’s, stamping words into soft clay with a child’s set of wooden letters. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, she created intricate text-based clay wall panels, pots and cubes by scratching, stenciling or stamping personal poems or quotations into the clay. Margot was an avid reader and poet and often used quotations from Michael Ondaatje and John Bruce in her sculpture, illuminating the meaning of their poetry into elegant, visual, sculptural equivalents.
Her later works from the 1980s combine clay, cloth and paper mache. They still contain some text, but rely more heavily on smooth rolling designs and sculptural forms that reference snow falls, storms and empty landscapes.
Margot Ariss’s work is in the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada Council Art Bank and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. She was included in “Ceramics 69” at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1969 and selected ceramic group exhibitions at the AGO in the early 1970s. In 1989, the London Regional Art Gallery mounted a survey exhibition – “Zen Song” – curated by Paddy O’Brien
Biography and CV Courtesy of Michael Gibson Gallery
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