Marie Drolet and Oleksandr Polishchuk

Becoming Light  |  City Gallery  |  May 5 – June 30, 2023

The latest exhibition of L’atelier de l’Aube’s founders Marie Drolet and Oleksandr Polishchuk opens May 5, 2023, at the Saint John Arts Centre, Saint John, New Brunswick. 

The exhibition is a tour de force that explores the latest collection of hanging and table lamps. The work was started during their last artist residency at the Saint John Arts Centre this past October and November 2022. L’atelier de l’Aube will also present its first large-scale collaborative work with artist Emily Rose Michaud. This collection consists of 28 illuminated porcelain wall pieces that use motifs that reference local plants from the Outaouais, Québec. 

This exhibition is the result of more than four years of experimentation, creation and collaboration between Drolet, Polishchuk, and other artists. The result – a refined approach to using porcelain. 

Marie Drolet explains, “This work shows the complexity of the material while celebrating its simplicity to elevate natural forms. We are thrilled to present this work, its creativity, and its technological challenges. This exhibition is kind of a denouement, from our time at the residency, and also signals a new beginning.” 

That newness that Marie Drolet speaks of is echoed by L’atelier de l’Aube officially launching this month. The new venture now makes these gorgeous pieces available for purchase. Marie Drolet continues, “L’atelier de l’Aube is the space where beauty, creativity and technical mastery are combined. We are looking forward to sharing our latest collections with the public and continue to work on new projects that we are already imagining.”

The exhibition is a must-see for anyone who loves sculpture and light art combined. 

L’atlier de l’Aube: Origins

As Russia declared war on Ukraine in February 2022, Marie Drolet contacted Oleksandr Polishchuk, a ceramist and colleague from Kyiv, Ukraine. She invited him to Canada and share her workspace in Wakefield, Quebec. He agreed, arrived, and they soon began to explore a true collaboration. What started in the ashes of war, germinated, and grew into L’atelier de l’Aube. This is a project that combine s illumination with delicate porcelain. They believe that “the conviction of Earth’s peace will be found in the creativity of light.” 

Marie Drolet, Founder

In the early 2000s, Marie Drolet was introduced to ceramics by her father, who was also a potter.
She continued her artistic explorations and studies in visual arts at ceramic studios in Ontario and the United States. 

In 2014, Marie launched Muraï Céramique, a Quebec community-focused studio that creates colourful functional pottery while teaching others about the art form. In 2018, she found porcelain, and things started to grow.  

For Marie, the translucency of porcelain offers a symbolic representation of the divine spark contained within each of us. Combining light in the material envelope of porcelain is a way to find a way into an ethereal place that lets us remember how we all came from the same source. It’s an invitation to discover how we can be free from corporality. 

When creating, she asks herself: “How can we echo the origins of the World into being human?”

So, she engraves. She sculpts. She celebrates symbols to express our shared organic fluidity and grace.

Oleksandr Polishchuk, Founder

Oleksandr became a ceramic artist in 2007, after working in Kyiv, Ukraine at a decorative and architectural ceramic manufacturing company as the lead engineer and project manager. He has 15 years of understanding of the technical requirements to produce large projects and realize the potential of any client’s dreams. 

Oleksandr takes a monumental stylistic approach to every project, from outdoor benches, fireplaces, garden sculptures, mosaics, and lamps. He uses many techniques to realize sculptural projects.

His projects explore how we show the vital energy of nature’s primordial elements with contemplation and innovation. Oleksandr asks, “How can Earth, wind, fire, and water ground us to start engaging in larger spiritual and cultural conversations?” Oleksandr’s decorative patterns encourage his meticulous and detailed work during which the state of mind of the artist is linked to ancient human memory.

He is now excited to combine ancient and contemporary techniques in ceramics to bring L’atelier de l’Aube porcelain artwork to life.

The creation of this work was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Société de développement des entreprises culturelles.