Photo: 2021 Awardee, Nick Purcell, furniture designer
The Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design honours excellence in functional art and design. Nominate now for the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design. Whether nominating yourself or another artist, by recognizing the accomplishments of our province’s artists and designers this annual award program pays tribute to exceptional people, doing exceptional work.
Janaki Larsen calls herself a potter and a mess maker. But to most of us, she’s an incomparable ceramics artist who creates beautiful plates and bowls that elevate functional items into showpieces.
Her path, like that of many artists the award recognizes, did not start with a plan to be the artist she is today. “I didn’t want to be a potter and I didn’t want to be a painter since that’s what both of my parents did. So, I went into sculpture which led to signing up for a ceramics class because of a leak in my studio. And I had this idea that I wanted to catch this leak in a vessel that would disintegrate onto itself. I sat down on the wheel on the first day and I thought ‘this actually makes sense to me.”
Janaki’s work is often described as having an energy to it and that comes from the artist working each piece often until it’s at the brink of collapse, and the marks and imperfections are what makes her work unique. Janaki’s art is innovative, but she defines it as re-using or re-working something that already exists, not necessarily creating something brand new. “Innovation is often thought of as inventing something new, instead of working with what we have. Having a material that you can get from your backyard and turning it into something you can use on a daily basis is very exciting.”
Making something that hasn’t been created before is both a risk and an innovation. For applied artists and designers, that’s often a risk worth taking. Not just for the art they create, but for the impact it has on their greater community whereby they are able to inspire others to take the risk, to be creative and seek innovation. “One of the most amazing things is for people to be inspired to pursue a career that is not the most guaranteed outcome. It’s an amazing feeling to receive an award like this for something that feels quite personal and to realize it has impacted on a larger scale.”
To all the makers out there, the vulnerability you show by taking the risk to create is applauded and encouraged. Share your creativity and inspire others through your work. #nominatenow for the 2022 Carter Wosk Award Applied Art and Design. Nominations close July 14 at bcachievement.com
Online nominations are also open for two other BC Achievement award programs. Do you or someone you know, fit any of these categories? If so, nominate now!
Indigenous Business Award – elevates excellence within Indigenous-owned businesses
Fulmer Award in First Nations Art – celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists.
Elevate excellence in BC and nominate a deserving individual or business for one of these awards! Together we can inspire achievement through recognition. #nominatenowbc #bepartofit #elevateexcellence
BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.