My most recent exhibition, ‘In Visible’ at The Art Gallery of Burlington (a pairing with artist Meera Seethi) opened, and then promptly closed making it ‘invisible’ to the public! Gratefully it opened again for an extended run. It was a gem of an exhibit.
Curator Hitoko Okada had a vision of the magic that would be the interplay between our series. Her ‘Upping the Aunty’ series and my adorned shoes. I am so grateful for this inspired collaboration.
In tandem with the exhibition, I worked with The Art Gallery of Burlington to host a ‘Radical Rug Hooking’ workshop. It was fun introduce over two hundred virtual registrants to the possibilities of this accessible traditional craft as a potentially powerful habit. We explored the practice as a way to tap into radical presence, to allow ourselves more experimentation with materials, and to make a connection between personal healing and political transformation over the pandemic and beyond.
“Adornment can be wielded as a means of protection or immunity against visible and invisible harm- like a talisman, power heels, or an indigo stole dyed with plants made from ancient ancestral processes. Donning on an article imbued with powerful energy or styling an expression of who we are, can be ways of connecting to our personal and collective histories, signals of reclamation, and acts of social resistance. In these ways, objects that we wear can have powerful transformative qualities within ourselves, what we may believe about belonging, and act as visual interruptions to dominant culture in public spaces.
Through the artist’s paintings series Upping The Aunty and Begum, Meera Sethi asks “how do we think about what we wear and its relationship to social power?”
Marina Dempster’s “yarn painted” shoes invite a pensive self- reflection through her slow craft practice like a mirror that becomes a “…powerful portal into empowered perspectives, awareness and shifts in consciousness”.
This paired exhibition attempts to honour and celebrate connections between personal healing and political transformation through objects of what we wear and invites reflection on the seemingly invisible dominant cultures ever-present in public spaces and institutions, and how it informs who becomes invisible and visible within them.”
- In Visible is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.