Daniela Petosa
First Light

Location: Tofino Community Hall
Completed: January 2019

Photo Credit: Jill Nancy Photography

First Light encapsulates that ?eeting moment when the day is in transition, waking from dark night, and still dreamlike, quiet and serene. Dawn is my favorite time of day, it is when my mind is most quiet and there is room for new perspectives, clarity, and creative inspiration. In this calm the sky moves slowly through its endless palette of oranges and pinks. From a burning pin-hole, the sun bursts with an explosion of warmth and pure energy, and all of nature responds.

It was a joy and a challenge to combine the medium of clay with the materials of foam, resin and ?berglass cloth in this mixed media installation. Tiles have always featured prominently in my work and as such were the organic choice for the sun component. Each tile was hand cut and uniquely glazed so as to highlight the array of magni?cent tones of sunrise.

The clouds were created both to add a surreal lightness to the work, and also give a gentle nod to the sur?ng culture which runs deep throughout the town of To?no. The soft curves of the clouds were obtained using surfboard templates, originating from late 1960's California board designs and were then ?nished using traditional surfboard building materials and techniques.

Flocks of ?ying birds have been a muse for me since day one. To me they represent ultimate freedom. What a feeling it must be to effortlessly rise and fall, free from the con?nes of direction. Each clay bird was sculpted and positioned to ?ow effortlessly into the next, creating a natural and harmonious ?ight pattern. The combination of light and weight in this piece, both in materials and feeling, merge to capture the tranquil and transitory feeling at daybreak.

I am personally dedicating First Light in memory of the dear Dorothy Baert. Her service through thoughtful leadership, unwavering commitment to sustainable development, and advocacy for the arts in To?no will be appreciated by myself and many others for generations to come.

Artist Bio

Daniela’s fascination with clay began nearly two decades ago in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico where she ?rst learned traditional wheel techniques at the Instituto Allende Art College. This is where her passion for clay was ignited. Furthering her education, she received a grant to attend the Ceramics Program at Haliburton School of the Arts, Ontario in 2005. She has since completed Masters courses at the Metchosin School of the Arts on Vancouver Island in 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2019, whereupon she was granted bursaries for artistic merit. Daniela is constantly seeking to attend international conferences and workshops in order to evolve with current progressions in ceramic art and design.

Daniela’s work is currently on display throughout the town of To?no, Vancouver Island, in resorts, restaurants, and public spaces. Her passion for interior design, evident in her custom mixed media installations, has captured a worldwide audience. A unique back-lit tile and glass piece adorns the wall of Shelter Restaurant in To?no, offering a fresh and contemporary take on mixed media design, with her high relief tiles as the main attraction. The world renowned Ancient Cedars Spa at the Wickaninnish Inn Relais & Chateaux boasts a collection of her work, and she has been commissioned to design and install custom counter-tops for a yacht, as well as a striking three-sided ?replace for a luxury condo, among other things. Most recently she was chosen to fabricate a permanent public art installation to adorn the interior of a busy community space in her town of To?no, Vancouver Island. The 3-dimensional mixed media work incorporates the use of clay, wood, foam, ?berglass and resin, resulting in a visually stunning nod to West Coast life.

Daniela’s experience as a student has been so gratifying that she has made teaching a large component of her work offering diverse courses and workshops that in?uence adults, adolescents, and young children alike to create art.