Maura Doyle


Maura Doyle has a studio practice in Ottawa / Algonquin Anishinaabeg Aki. Her multidisciplinary practice has included video, ceramics, sculpture, printed matter and drawing. Her current body of work explores her own experience as mother and artist in relation to the ceramic form of the pot. Her work has been exhibited across Canada in artist-run centres and art institutions, as well as internationally in New York, Japan, Sweden and Vienna.

Artist Statement

My art making process begins with things that interest me in relation to my life. For example: when I became a single mother I started working with clay—I found the slow technique of hand building suited my stay-at-home schedule. Once I find a topic, I pursue many tangents of thought, material and process. I enjoy weaving my own experience with broader conventional narratives.

In the last two years, I have been creating more personal and intimate work that aligns with my challenges working as an artist and single mother. I am looking to my own life as a subject to investigate. Women artists and writers have often turned to their own bodies, sexuality, motherhood, and identity, to make work as a record of who we are and the struggles we come up against, and this is now at the forefront of the cultural conversation today (#metoo, etc.).

My current practice reflects my work and research about pots and their representation; and pottery in relation to my own life through metaphor.

I appreciate that clay is of the earth—a primordial material used for millennia across cultures and species. As women for centuries have found, the slow process of working in clay and simple repetitive tasks melds easily along-side child rearing. I focussed on the most elemental ceramic form, the pot. I “got to know” pots by making them. I built pots, collected poetry and metaphors about pottery, visited museums, meditated with 800 year-old pots, studied the history of the medium and taught myself open-flame firing, likely the oldest firing technique. Pots, I learned, are like people. A pot has a neck, a foot, a mouth. They have mysterious interiors and familiar exteriors.

Big Missoula by Peter Voulkos, California (1995), 2015, gouache on paper construction, 49 ¾ x 38 ¼ inches

In response to looking at pots in books and through Plexiglas cases, I began to wonder about their mysterious inside spaces. My paper constructions are based on outside shapes (and actual sizes) of historical pots, but I have re-imagined the inside spaces through layered paper collage. Inside the large-scale pot called Big Missoula by expressionist Peter Voulkos floats two entities which I imagine to be myself and my son, who helped me paint this work. The Pot Silhouette series are black gouache-painted shapes based on photographs I took of pots from the collection of the Carleton University Art Gallery. I photographed them from unusual perspectives.

(Pot silouette) Chupicuaro Bowl, 2 necks, wh.& bl.on red, straw base (900 B.C.E.-200 A.C.E.), 2016, gouache on paper, 49 x 38 inches

My new work in drawing and sculpture is based on recurring themes gleaned from my daily practice of mind-stream journaling and left-hand drawing. I use these methods to access interior unconscious recesses that, like a pot, may not otherwise be known. My exhibition Overcoat of Clay includes pots that have confused interiors that do not necessarily reflect the outside walls. The Vitruvian Woman series (based on journal drawings) disrupts classical ideas of proportion and symmetry and looks to metaphor to describe human experience—which for me, is a reconciling of my inner and outer world

Maura Doyle's Website

Solo Exhibitions
  • Who the Pot, YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Toronto
  • New Age Beaver, Modern Fuel, Kingston
  • Bone Dump, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto
  • Monument to all Boulders in Vancouver and on Planet Earth, permanent public sculpture in conjunction with Or Gallery and City of Vancouver
  • There’s a New Boulder in Town, Toronto Sculpture Garden, Toronto
  • The Mail Order Catalogue, The Add-on Edition, Retail by Artists Project, Art Metropole, Toronto
  • The Mail Order Catalogue, Satchel Gallery, Toronto
  • Chip Bags, Pantry Gallery, Vancouver
  • 2003, Skol Gallery, Montreal
  • Maura Doyle, Or Gallery, Vancouver, BC
  • The Mail Order Catalogue, Double Issue, Gallery Le Deco, Tokyo Japan
  • Giant Gumball, Dynamo Gallery, Vancouver
Selected Group Exhibitions
  • XX8, Fisch Haus, Wichita, KS
  • Word Play, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
  • Ontario Pick 3, Central Art Garage, Ottawa
  • Anatomica, Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax
  • bones kneel in company, BLINK Gallery, Ottawa, ON
  • 5th KW/AG Biennial, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, curated by Robert Enright
  • So Many Letdowns Before We Get Up, Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts, Winnipeg, curated by J.J. Kegan McFadden
  • The Frontier is HereInverness County Centre for the Arts, Cape Breton, curated by Amish Morel
  • Paul Butler Collage Party,Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto
  • Paul Butler Collage Party, MOCCA, Toronto
  • Sometimes, we make it, sometimes, we use it, and lot of times, we hang out for it, Remo, Shibuya, Tokyo
  • The Mail Order Catalogue, Paul Petro Special Projects, Toronto, ON
  • A Delicate Kinship, hpgrp (HaNNa Gallery), Ginza, Tokyo +Video Awards, +Gallery, Aichi-ken, Japan
  • Dedicated to you, but you weren’t listening, Power Plant Contemporary Art, Toronto
  • Ziploc, AGOG Visual and Media Arts Festival, Guelph, ON
  • The Cave and the Island, White Columns, New York Cityand Kunstbuero, Vienna, Austria, Important Canadian Art - ZieherSmith Gallery, New York City
  • Confidence, Passagen Art Center, Linköping, Sweden
  • NADA Art Fair, ZieherSmith Gallery (NY), Miami Beach, USA
  • Instant Coffee Trailer Painting Show, Luft Gallery, Toronto
  • The Mail Order Catalogue, The Bookmobile/Mobile livres, CAN & USA
  • Small World, Gallery Le Deco, Tokyo, Japan & Sis Boom Ba, Toronto
  • Sound Separation, Western Front, Vancouver
  • Helen Pitt Awards Exhibition, Or Gallery, Vancouver
  • Lost, Annaleonowens Gallery, Halifax NS
  • Nog A Dog, Moonbase Gallery, Vancouver
  • MFA University of Guelph, studio art
  • NSCAD, film studies & studio art
  • Academy of Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands, photography & studio art
  • Canterbury High School, Ottawa, visual arts major
  • Agrell, Siri. "Gneiss boulders" National Post Oct 2, 2004: TO12
  • Connor, Kevin. "This is Art?" Toronto Sun Nov 15, 2011: Cover story.
  • Dyment, Dave. "Maura Doyle’s Art Services". C- Magazine 74 (Summer 2002): 46
  • Doyle, Maura. Interview by Rosemary Heather, Millions Magazine. Issue 5 (June 2014) 3-8.
  • Doyle, Maura & Annie Dunning. Interview with Dave Gerry, Global News. Global Television. Vancouver. April 1999.
  • Heather, Rosemary. "Maura Doyle and Sandy Plotnikoff as Opposites". Skol Publication 14th Ed. Montreal: 2003
  • Heather, Rosemary. "Who the Pot? Why so Primitive?" YYZ Artists’ Outlet: Home: Essays. May 2014.
  • Heath-Rawlings, Jordon. "A boulder approach" Toronto Star Nov 14, 2004:B2
  • Hermant, Sydney. "Two Girls and a Shopping Cart". Discorder March 1998: 8
  • Johnson, Paddy. "In Praise of Beavers" The L Magazine: Columns: Art Fag City. June 10 2009.
  • Maura Doyle: Castor Craftsmanship Canadian Art: Home: Online. May 21, 2009.
  • Milroy, Sarah. "Exploring collaboration". Globe and Mail April 5, 2004:R3
  • Morell, Amish "There’s no Such Thing as a New Boulder". Toronto Sculpture Garden, Toronto: fall 2004
  • Osborne, Catherine. "A Sly Comment on Hype". National Post Nov 1, 2003: TO7
  • Plotnikoff, Sandy. "The Mail Order Catalogue". Mix Magazine 25.3 (Spring 2000): 11
  • Reinhart, Anthony. "The Boulder and the Beautiful" Globe and Mail Oct 9,2004:M5
  • "INTELLIGENCE: A case of boulderdash" Globe and Mail June 18,2005:M2
  • Santizo, Igor. "Maura Doyle’s econo-play". d’or Or Gallery, Vancouver: 2003
  • Sasaki, Jon. "The Mail Order Catalogue". Broken Pencil Issue 20 (fall 2002): 77
  • Thorpe, Josh. "Maura Doyle’s Pots Recast Perception" Canadian Art: Home: Reviews. June 27, 2014.
Screenings / Performances
  • GLN - Spaceship Earth, Tokyo Wonder Site, Shibuya, Tokyo
  • GLN - Spaceship Earth, CTM.05 Club Transmediale, Berlin
  • GLN - Interpretative Music for Paintings - 1066 Project Space, Toronto
  • GLN - Images Festival - Innis College, Toronto
  • Open Circuits Electronic Music Festival, Or Gallery, Vancouver
Published Book Works / Multiples
  • Guide to Beaver Architecture: Sticks and Mud Reconsidered, artist’s book, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
  • G.L.N Spaceship Earth, DVD album, commissioned by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto
  • Geologic Time Capsules Revealed, map/guide, Or Gallery, Vancouver
  • There’s a New Boulder in Town,artist’s book, commissioned by Toronto Sculpture Garden
Artist Talks / Presentations
  • Research in Art (RIA), Petra Halkes Salon, Ottawa
  • University of Ottawa, Fine Arts Dept. Ottawa
  • Art Metropole/Arts Librarians Society of North America, Toronto
  • Sheridan College, Art & Art History Department, Oakville
  • Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver
  • University of Guelph, School of Fine Art and Music, Guelph
  • Crac, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Skol Gallery, Montreal
  • City of Toronto (public art collection)
  • City of Vancouver (public art collection)
  • City of Ottawa
  • Fidelity Investments
  • TD Bank Group
  • Chalmers Arts Fellowship, Ontario Arts Council
  • Exhibition Assistance, Ontario Arts Council
  • Project Grant to Visual Artists, Canada Council for the Arts
  • Exhibition Assistance, Ontario Arts Council
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, masters scholarship
  • Canada Council Travel Grant
  • Exhibition Assistance – Power Plant, Ontario Arts Council
  • Ontario Arts Council Mid-career Grant - Visual Arts
  • Canada Council Emerging Artist Grant - Film and Video, w/ Tony Romano
  • Exhibition Assistance - Mercer Union, Ontario Arts Council
  • Canada Council Emerging Artist Grant - Visual Arts, w/ Annie Dunning
  • Sponsored Exhibition - Gallerie LeDeco, Tokyo, Japan
  • Helen Pitt Award, Vancouver
  • Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Scholarship, Vancouver
  • Collection Invitational, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa
  • Or Gallery, Vancouver
  • Pantry Raid Residency, Vancouver
Related Professional Experience
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Visual Art (Sculpture), University of Ottawa
  • Fundraiser, Art Metropole Fundraising committee, Art Metropole, Toronto