Gabriela Canas was born in Long Island, New York then moved to Jacksonville, Florida as an adolescent. Growing up on the coast, she formed an early attachment to the ocean and all things marine. With a history of practicing artists in her family, Gabriela’s introduction to art began before she could even walk. Gabriela discovered her love for ceramics in high school at Bishop Kenny becoming heavily involved in art programs. At the University of Florida, Gabriela integrated both of her passions by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and minoring in Visual Art studies with a focus in ceramics. She strives to incorporate her scientific background into her artworks by often focusing on content involving environmental quandaries.

Artist’s Statement – Piece entitled “Hara-kiri“. Conjoining my love for art and science, my work focuses on subjects pertaining to environmental and marine issues. Using a variety of techniques, including slab built structures and slip cast forms, my process involves using simple ceramic forms to represent complex ideas. Hara-kiri is a term used to describe the ritual suicide by disembowelment with a sword, formerly practiced in Japan by samurai. This piece uses the classic game of chess as a medium to comment on the current state of affairs on this planet. Humans are decimating the environment and causing harm to a variety of different ecosystems. The reality of the situation is that we are destroying that which gives us life, effectively killing ourselves. In this piece, industry is represented by slab built lattice-like pieces; nature is represented by slip cast forms with additions applied to represent the natural numerical Fibonacci sequence. It is often said that this sequence is Nature’s numbering system. It appears everywhere in Nature, from the leaf arrangement in plants to the pattern of the florets of a flower, the spiral shell of a mollusk, and even the arrangement of stars in a galaxy. The glass board with its wooden supports alludes to the manmade supported by the natural, setting up the game as one played on nature’s battlefield. The way the pieces are arranged on the board initially suggests heavy losses on the nature side, but upon closer inspection, it can be seen that industry has already lost the game. Our conscious choices are negatively affecting the earth, setting into motion a series of events that will ultimately lead to our downfall.