Marney McDiarmid is a self-taught ceramic artist with an MA in Oral History and five years of a PhD in Cultural Studies. Since the mid 1990s, she has been creating lushly decorated handbuilt pieces out of porcelain, renowned for their grace and whimsy. Marney’s work has appeared in the Lark series “Prints on Clay” and in the National Post. In 2017 she was awarded “Best in Show” at the FUSION Clay and Glass exhibit in Toronto, ON. She maintains an active studio practice at her home in Kingston, ON and enjoys teaching at guilds, colleges, and for private workshops. In addition to her ceramic practice, Marney is actively engaged in social justice issues and is also a founding member of the Kingston Stilting Troupe.
Euphorbiaceae is a genus of over 6,000 kinds of flowering plants found primarily in the tropics. Many cacti in this family are characterized by ebullient flowers that contrast dramatically with the plants’ spiky hostile exteriors. Despite harsh growing environments, they manage to produce a pageant of showy flowers, a compelling metaphor for both resilience and our need for beauty even in challenging times. My recent work has consisted of thematic functional tableware that highlights the table as a site for dialogue and community building. Euphorbia raises questions of how we adapt to adverse circumstances, cultivate resilience, and asks what role beauty and pageantry play in our current climate crisis. With this work, I am asking the viewer to come to the table and consider how we can make change.