21 Pillows is an inspiring, interactive glass installation by Red Lake artist Cheryl Wilson Smith. Initially launched at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in 2019, this touring show continued to the Ottawa School of Art before opening at the Art Gallery of Sudbury in January, 2020. In the fall of 2020, the show continues to the Muse Gallery in Kenora before concluding at the Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo in the winter.
21 Pillows consists of about 10,000 small sculptures Wilson-Smith has produced in her classic, fired glass frit. Resembling fossils or beach stones, the glass pieces are arranged on 21 large cream coloured burlap pillows. Viewers are invited to touch and move the glass stones that are at once fragile yet strong. The exhibition space is filled with the ambient sounds of calling ravens and is lit to simulate dusk or dawn.
Wilson-Smith's exhibition is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Below is Wilson-Smith's Bastion, 2019, glass frit, 4.25 x 13 x 6 inches. This work and others by the artist are available at Oeno Gallery.