Reviews

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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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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All These In-betweens

Logan MacDonald on how to reclaim what has been lost

MacDonald tells me that “this work is sad. It is about contemporary mourning and historical mourning, but it is also a call to action and to empathy.” In these betweens there is also a generative tension that illuminates hope and possibility.

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Ketu’elmita’jik / They want to go home

Jordan Bennett

When you first walk into the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s exhibition space holding Ketu’elmita’jik, created by Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) artist Jordan Bennett, the colours and designs flood your senses. They enter you like some otherworldly creation that has seeped into your brain and started playing music you can’t quite hear. This site-specific work fills the...

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You Are Not Here

Juan Ortiz-Apuy draws power through imitation

Juan Ortiz-Apuy’s Fountain Mist is disorienting, like the moment a dream snaps into a nightmare. You are not here. A spectre haunts the mixed-media installation, stalking through the sheen of blues, oranges, and yellows—the spectre of someone else’s dream being imposed on you, also known as advertising. The dream is at its eeriest in a...

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Kym Greeley’s Highway Sightlines

Greeley uses the car windshield as a frame, and the highway as a major compositional element in her paintings. Objects often cropped out of tourism brochures, such as road signs, guardrails and lane markings, become significant features. The aesthetic of the highway is reflected in her refined style. Like the graphics used on highway signs, each element is clear and readable. Layered together, however; they create intricate compositions and complex, open-ended narratives

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Re-discovering Indigenous Identities

The impact of the Identify Festival

To “identify” is to name something and render it visible, even if it may have been present all along. Organized by Eastern Edge Gallery, the Identify festival facilitates the gathering and sharing of traditional and contemporary artistic and cultural practices of Indigenous peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador including Mi’kmaq, Inuit, Innu, Southern Inuit of Nunatukavut...

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Don’t Listen to Me: Mark Harvey

on plants, toxic masculinity, + advice from grandmothers

I’ve descended into a dark room with a large video projection of what looks like a tropical jungle. The camera moves slowly and deliberately through rich vegetation while the narrator— New Zealand artist Mark Harvey—gently talks to you about Schrödinger’s Cat. Mark explains how plants absorb energy from other nearby plants, and the research suggesting this applies to people too. He talks about quantum entanglement. The whole thing is quite hypnotic. And sitting on the floor in the far corner of the room, is a small video monitor showing the artist wrestling with a young tree, yanking and pulling, trying to rip it out of the ground with his hands.

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Resource Extraction: Meagan Musseau

Exploring memory, language and our relationships to the landscape

“My response to the landscape is emotional,” says Meagan Musseau. “I observe and engage with the land and the social environment in which I live.”

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