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GardenShip and State


  • Location: Museum London 421 Ridout Street North
    London ON N6A 5H4
  • Telephone: 519-661-0333
GardenShip and State

GardenShip and State

October 7 to January 23, 2022

Curators: Jeff Thomas and Patrick Mahon

This exhibition brings together 20 artists and writers who engage in decolonial critique, environmental activism, and 21st century artistic practices to address what is arguably the problem of our times: environmental catastrophe. It asks how we can work together, and create together as a global community to restore the planet – while respecting differences, and seeking to repair divisions and address injustices brought about by colonialism. 

The exhibition features works produced over a two-year period – the results of conversations between the artists and writers, oftentimes with members of their local communities. Among the works resulting from those creative dialogues, artist Adrian Stimson has produced new work at his home on the Siksika Reserve in Alberta, focusing on learning about the children’s Bumble Bee Society and working with a local beadworker to produce ceremonial regalia covered with 300 beaded bumble bees. India-born, London-based artist, Sharmistha Kar, has produced a tent structure embroidered in multiple languages with words that her refugee and immigrant collaborators, residing in London, associate with “home.”  Victoria Harbour, ON, artist Michael Farnan has a produced a giant map-like drawing, which he notes, “illustrates historical ‘settlement’ narratives (colonial invasion), of the Great Lakes region of Canada, as well as their intersections with (forced) Indigenous displacement (Reservations and Treaties), and the non-human life of bird, fish, and mammal.” 

This exhibition is a multi-sensory experience that inhabits the Ivey Galleries and spills into adjacent areas of the Museum, both inside and out. Comprising textiles, photography, sculpture, video, gardening, and installation, the show invites visitors to see and to engage with aesthetically rich and culturally complex artworks that are simultaneously provocative and challenging, and also sources of hope. 

Featuring: Ron Benner, Lori Blondeau, Sean Caulfield, Paul Chartrand, Tom Cull, Amelia Faye, Michael Farnan, Joan Greer, Jamelie Hassan, Sharmistha Kar, Jessica Karuhanga, Mark Kasumovic, Patrick Mahon, Mary Mattingly, Quinn Smallboy, Ashley Snook, Adrian Stimson, Jeff Thomas, Andrés Villar, Michelle Wilson

Image: Michael Farnan, A Map Depicting the Settlement History of the Land, Plants, Animals, People, and Water Between Here and There. Here being where I am, and There being where you are. A Work in Progress (detail), 2021. Ink, chalk, charcoal on paper. Courtesy of the Artist 

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