Per (pet) ual Memorium Master's Solo Exhibition by Tricia Visser

Published 30 October 2023 in Media Blogs

Alicia Ferreira

Per(pet)ual Memorium (2023).

4th to 11th November 2023

Tricia Visser’s Master’s solo exhibition of ceramics with the title Per(pet)ual Memorium (2023) opens at the Viewing Room Art Gallery on the 4th of November. The exhibition explores the power of art to capture the most visceral aspects of our lives; particularly that of our relationships with companion animals. Visser attempts to depict the depths of human emotion where grief, memory, and longing converge in ceramic sculptures.


The exhibition is comprised of 13 life-sized sculptures of domestic animals she owned through her lifetime, some made from fragments of their favourite soft toys or blanket fragments pets’ as well as the bone ash as remnants of some of the more recent pets who unfortunately passed away. The sculptures thus serve as physical reminders of the special bonds between humans and animals. From a theoretic standpoint then, Visser deals with concepts such as grief, anthropomorphism, the attachment theory, the ethics of care, as well as the idea that pets can be considered as ‘children’.


One of the most compelling aspects of this exhibition is its ability to communicate the deep grief that follows the loss of a pet. However, many underestimate the intensity of this grief, dismissing it with comments like, "you can get another puppy, kitten etc." The artist's work challenges this notion; urging viewers to recognize the significance of these relationships and the profound impact pets have on our lives.   


Per(pet)ual Memorium invites viewers to examine their own relationships with their pets, fostering a deeper understanding of how these relationships has the ability to enrich and shape our lives. By doing so, the artist's work not only commemorates beloved pets but also the empathy and connection among fellow animal lovers.


This is an exhibition that speaks to the hearts of many. Through these unique pieces, we are reminded that the love for our pets is perpetual and forever etched into the clay of our memories.


Alicia Ferreira

November 2023

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