The Craft Council of BC has invited Debra Sloan to present a talk about her twelve-month residency in 2018 at the UBC Museum of Anthropology where she was studying and responding to the Anabaptist, Faenza and Delftware held in the Koerner European Ceramic Gallery collection. During her first months, she concentrated on transposing the non-representational imagery found on much of the non-representational Anabaptist ware onto her figurative finials. She also spent some time with narrative plates and painted scenes found on Faenza and Delftware pottery, her favourite being the Delft Garden of Eden plate.
Over time, however, she became more aware of the organization of the Koerner Gallery, and the principles guiding Dr Koerner’s intentions when he amassed his collection. At the heart of the collection is the Haban ware, made by the Anabaptists, who fled Florence due to religious persecution. Dr Koerner’s collection goes beyond gathering together related objects and instead expresses his philosophical outlook of religious freedom and pacifism, through the objects that he surrounded himself with during his lifetime – important messages in this time of worldwide migration.