The stone that moves me:
my relationship with material

Heather Vollans

I am a mosaicist working mostly with stone. I am in a totally different head space when working with stone. I am calm, focussed and moved and inspired. But before I get to work with the stone I feel it, look at it, feel it, live with it…and did I mention, FEEL it? All this is part of the stone’s journey and my relationship with it.

In this exhibition I hope to give viewers a glimpse of how I feel when I am working with stone. I often work monochromatic and almost always in abstract. This gives the stone voice – sometimes loud, sometimes soft, but always strong. My work process is often to focus on one material from a particular place, and I use that stone exclusively to speak to the geological location and the emotional connection I feel with it. For the viewer my working monochromatic and abstract provides an opportunity to see the raw beauty of the stone without being distracted by pictures, colour and competing texture. And it is how I feel moved to work with the stone.

This body of work speaks to time and place, but also to the ancient-ness and unchanging-ness of stone. In an age when there is so much change environmentally, socially and politically…stones feels grounding (literally and figuratively).

For this exhibition I will be working with stone collected from different places across Canada – slate, granite, basalt, beach pebbles and even a variety of gravel.

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario for their support. 

March 1 – June 30, 2024

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The Loch Doon area was memorialized in celebrated Scottish poet, Robert Burns piece “Ye banks and braes O’ bonnie Doon”

Ye banks and braes o’ bonny Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary fu’ o’ care?
Thou’lt break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons thro’ the flowering thorn:
Thou minds me o’ departed joys,
Departed, never to return.

Aft hae I rov’d by bonnie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilka bird sang o’ its love,
And fondly sae did I o’ mine.
Wi’ lightsome heart I pu’d a rose,
Fu’ sweet upon its thorny tree;
And my fause lover stole my rose,
But, ah! he left the thorn wi’ me.

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