In 1977, a flamingo landed on the coast of Newfoundland and was immediately shot. Now preserved in the collection of The Rooms, the strange story of how this tropical bird came to be in its final resting place far from home is the starting point for this contemporary art exhibition that explores the inherent absurdity and poignancy of collecting behaviour. What motivates us to collect? How do we choose what to include and exclude from our collections and exhibitions? Artworks by local, national, and international artists are bought together with a selection of works from The Rooms Permanent Collections that have never before been exhibited. Throughout, works that incorporate song and voice elude to absence and elegy, but also to the limitless power of sound to exclaim presence, even when there is no “room” for physical inclusion. The end result is a sumptuous, poetic experience for the eyes, and ears.

David R. Harper, Learning to Love You (detail), Wood, steel, cast polymer with virgin paper pulp, photo paper, enamel, paint.2015. photo credit: Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Sara Cwynar, Soft Film, 16mm film transferred to digital video, 2016