Michèle Pearson Clarke, Suck Teeth Compositions (After Rashaad Newsome) featuring Simone, 2017, Digital video still. Image courtesy of the artist.
This exhibition challenges preconceived notions of Blackness in Canada through the work of eight contemporary artists. The artworks use current and historical objects, images, and ideas to blur the longstanding perception that Black bodies belong on the edge of Canadian history. Though Canada is widely celebrated as a triumph of cultural diversity, dominant narratives have reduced the Black Canadian experience to one of an everlasting immigrant or newcomer. These artists question this by exposing deep historical traces of Black presence in our country. In presenting multiple voices and sensitivities, this exhibition disrupts simplistic and comforting narratives, while affirming the longstanding relevance of Blackness to the fabric of Canada.
Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art was developed by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. This exhibition was curated by Dr. Julie Crooks, Assistant Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario, Dominique Fontaine, independent curator, and Dr. Silvia Forni, Curator of African Arts and Culture, ROM.
Hangama Amiri, The Shore, Wind, 2018, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 91.8 x 61.0 cm. Purchased with funds from the Elisabeth Connor Endowment Fund, 2018.
Hangama Amiri is an Afghan-Canadian artist who makes paintings about childhood memory, cross-cultural dialogue, and feminism. In The Shore, Wind and View in Gaff Point, she utilizes colour and scenes of Nova Scotia’s South Shore to evoke the sublime nature of the Canadian landscape. As with previous work, here Amiri looks to her immediate surroundings as a vehicle to explore identity within a changing sense of place.
Hangama Amiri received a BFA from NSCAD University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (2012). She is currently completing her MFA at Yale School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut and was a Canadian Fulbright and Post-Graduate Fellow (2015-2016). Her work has been included in exhibitions in cities such as New York, Toronto, London, and Sofia, Bulgaria. She is the recipient of the 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteerism Award, the 2013 Portia White Protégé Award, and an honourable mention at the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2015.
Robert D Wilkie, engraved by George DuBois, Nova Scotian Industrial Exhibition Building 1854, tint stone lithograph, 52.3 x 77.5 cm. Gift of John and Norma Oyler, 1995.102
The classical elements that conditioned scientific thought in 1749 remain a useful metaphor today to describe the industrial development of the province of Nova Scotia.
Air drove windmills and would lift the Silver Dart.
Fire allowed foundries and sugar refineries to be operated.
Water supported fishing and shipping, and could power grist mills, as well.
Earth allowed for the development of farming, and an array of mining operations.
This exhibition brings attention to the extent and range of industrial activity in the province in by-gone years, and juxtaposes works by 18th and 19th century artists with works by contemporary and folk artists. The exhibition also explores some lesser known aspects of that activity – from labels for the forty lobster canneries that operated in the province by 1873, to Mi’kmaq harvesting birch and ash to carve hockey sticks, to the longest building in the province at the Dartmouth Ropeworks.
Arthur Lismer, Mine Sweepers at Sea, 1917. Oil on board, 30.4 x 40.7 cm
Halifax Harbour 1918 depicts the city’s waterfront through the eyes of artists Arthur Lismer and Harold Gilman, following one of the most searing events in Canadian history. Commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials Fund to depict the Harbour following a maritime collision and the massive explosion that followed, the two artists — one Canadian, the other British — produced a pair of large and evocative works now in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. Bringing together sketches, paintings and related material, this exhibition reflects both a city in wartime and the work of two artists at a pivotal time in their careers.
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada in partnership with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Salvador Dali, King Saul (from Our Historical Heritage series), 1975, Colour drypoint with pochoir colouring on Japon paper, SA 3/300, 56.7 x 39.9 cm. Gift of Janet and Zachary Jacobson, Ottawa, Ontario, 2012.
Salvador Dali, A Suite of Prints includes all eleven engravings from Salvador Dali’s Our Historical Heritage Suite (1975). This work has been eclipsed by his earlier widely acclaimed surrealist paintings that he is famous for, uncovering a link between Dali’s highly symbolic surrealist work and his exploration on religious themes that recurred throughout his career. This series reveals a side of Dali’s practice that was influenced by classical Italian Renaissance and his renewed dedication to the Catholic Church. These prints offer a rare glimpse of Dali’s sparsely produced work from the last two decades of his life and reveal the depth and diversity of his artistic approach.
Jin-me Yoon, Long View, 2017 (detail) 6 C-prints, edition of 5, 83.8 x 128.2 cm
A Sense of Site engages the practices of 12 contemporary artists working in response to diverse settings and communities across the land. Though ranging in approach, common ground can be found in the collective re-examination of our dialogue with the natural world in the face of present-day issues such as climatic crises, the legacies of colonialism, and the complex relationship between nationhood and cultural identity. In addressing concepts of place, environment, and belonging, this exhibition looks to subject matter of shared importance while highlighting the role of art as a catalyst for discourse and social change.
A Sense of Site draws upon the conceptual framework of Landmarks2017/Repères2017, a cross-Canada project that invited people to explore and deepen their connection to the land through a series of commissioned contemporary art projects in and around Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites.
Landmarks2017/Repères2017 was created by PIA. www.partnersinart.ca