Postmodern Blackness in Heather Hart’s Northern Oracle

Black American visual artist Heather Hart’s series of rooftop oracles based on the four directions (East, West, North, and South) is an-ongoing series of work that offers prophetic predictions for imagining new futures. Most recently, she’s created Northern Oracle, an exhibition curated by Ann MacDonald and presented in partnership with the Africville Heritage Trust at...

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Abbas Akhavan Explores Faith, Theatre & Architecture in script for an island on Fogo

In fall of 2019, multidisciplinary artist Abbas Akhavan hung two ten-foot wide theatre curtains from a twelve-foot scaffolding on the beach in the small community of Joe Batt’s Arm on Newfoundland’s Fogo Island. The wind animated the velvet curtains, choreographing a dance between the undulating fabric and the waves in front of them, transforming the...

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Remembering Africville

Nova Scotia was once home to Africville, one of the oldest Black settlements outside of the African Continent. Africville’s oral history supports its existence as far back as the 1700s. It was located on the Bedford basin of the city of Halifax in the general area the Alexander Murray MacKay Bridge now occupies. In the...

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Relocation by “Renoviction”

New survey reveals the causes of the steep decline in Halifax’s North End artist studios

When I conducted a survey of 46 Halifax-based artists in October 2019, the number one reason they gave for leaving their North End studios was eviction/demolition. This staggering statistic comes as no surprise to artists who have been relocated in various waves of “renoviction” in the last decade.

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Atlantic Art-chitecture

Another common thread linking this new wave of Atlantic architects is how they view their field. Whereas in big architectural firms the focus is on technique and functionality, everybody I spoke to believes that the most important element of architecture is the design, and how it makes people feel.

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Call for Artist Pages and Pitches

Precarious work, burnout, funding, selling, it's all about the hustle and the grind in Art & Labour - the Summer 2020 theme of Visual Arts News, because art doesn't get a summer holiday. We’re looking for pitches, ideas, stories and exhibitions about the intersections of Art and Labour in Atlantic Canada.

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From the Archive: UNRAVELLING THE PRANKSTER

James MacSwain Canadian Artist Spotlight at the 24th Images Festival, Toronto, On, April 1st, 2011

MacSwain is a prankster, with a wicked sense of humour and a voice-over, which is idiosyncratic in its tone and timbre. The Halifax-based filmmaker initially worked with puppet theatre, and that aesthetic is evident throughout his more than 20 films made over a 30-year period. Collage has always been central to MacSwain’s practice as well — certainly with his animation films, but also with his “documentary” and even dramatic works.

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How We Build: On Craft and Blackness

With the purpose of illuminating ideas on intergenerational knowledge and craft sharing as a means of fostering solidarity and resistance within and between the various Black communities in Nova Scotia, this panel will engage in ideas on locating pleasure, joy, and celebration as a survival tool while navigating structural oppression.

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Rogue, Rebellious, Ill-behaved, Black

Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art

Poet and artist Sylvia D. Hamilton’s multimedia installation of images, objects, and sound is heard and carried throughout the powerful exhibition Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, which inspired the title of the group show. The creation of this exhibit occurred within a specific...

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Keeping the Lights On: Will Gill, Pepa Chan and Mike Gough

There is no exclusive formula that dictates whether a person is a Newfoundland artist. There is no set milestone one must reach to attain such title. For me, it’s simple: does this artist have a lasting and respectful relationship with this place? Do they speak with the place rather than at the place? Do they want to be here?

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