Sara Gray, Safya Hassan, Elyse Longair, Parisa Mah, Avery Mooring, Liz Rae Dalton, Jill Price, JoAnn Ralph, Hershita Tully
July 7 – 23, 2022
Curated by Akosua Adasi
Closing Reception with live performance:
July 22 at 1pm
Imagining Sustainable Futures features works by nine student and professional artists based in the Katarokwi-Kingston area who engage with urgent local and global issues. Each of the artists in the exhibition reflects on how their practice contributes to visualizing sustainable futures in their immediate communities and those around the world. The themes of climate action and social issues foregrounded in this exhibition are underscored by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to address global issues including areas of social inequality, climate change, and environmental protection.
Imagining Sustainable Futures showcases the roles that art can play in initiating and promoting important conversations about ongoing global challenges like rapid climate change and social inequality. Addressing aspects of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this collaboration between Queen’s Global Summer and Union Gallery examines their immediate and future implications on local and global communities.
The nine Katarokwi-Kingston-based artists in the exhibition have been chosen for their diverse perspectives on the extensive social and environmental challenges facing local and global communities. Working in a multitude of mediums including digital photography, drawing, sculpture, and collage, each artist explores the concerning realities of overconsumption, rapid climate change, and gender inequality. Notably, climate change and ensuing environmental degradation and ecological disasters are at the forefront of discussions about envisioning sustainable futures. Artists Jill Price, Sara Gray, and Liz Rae Dalton explore several facets of climate change in their work including extreme weather and the disruption of ecological systems. Similarly, Elyse Longair, Parisa Mah, and JoAnn Ralph experiment with sound, digital manipulation, and schematic topographic diagrams to draw attention to the warming of the planet and propose creative ways of building sustainable futures. The works of Safya Hassan and Avery Mooring highlight the deterioration of habitats caused by fast fashion and overconsumption. Rounding out the exhibition is Hershita Tully’s image of the Hindu Goddess Durga. The inclusion of this work not only serves to highlight gender inequality but to also illustrate the capacity of our communities to engage with and resolve current global challenges.
Using eco-friendly and found materials, the socially and environmentally conscious works in Imagining Sustainable Futures demonstrate the dire effects of climate change while capturing the resilience of the local environments and communities around Katarokwi-Kingston. Taken together, these works foster productive conversations about collective action and individual responsibility towards imagining sustainable futures for our communities.
Akosua Adasi is a second-year MA student in the Department of Art History and Art Conservation at Queen’s University. She specializes in Black feminist theory and contemporary Black art in visual and popular culture, focusing on the construction of the Black body as it relates to hybridity.
Sara Gray was trained in vocal music and photography at an arts high school, and she just completed her degree in political science at Queen's University, she hopes to pursue law school in the next year. Her art focuses on an intersection of her love of politics, social issues, and identity. Sara works in linoprint, photography, watercolour, and pencil, primarily.
Safya Hassan is a Queen’s student that has always had a passion for art. Through experimenting with many different materials as a child, she enjoys painting in watercolour the most. Through quarantine, she began sewing which started her journey with creating clothes. Her biggest passion is sustainable fashion and she hopes to one day spread the message of the importance in eco-fashion through her art. In Safya's final year of high school, she created a series of artworks titled Beyond the Clothing, representing the negative effects of fast fashion which showcased the impact it has had on human rights as well as environmental factors.
Elyse Longair is an artist, curator and image theorist, currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies at Queen’s University. In 2021, Longair received her MFA from the Interdisciplinary Art Media and Design program at OCAD University. From 2020-2021, she was an RBC Emerging Artist at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. Longair’s “simple image” theory in collage re-imagines the role of images away from the overt-complexity that dominates our world, opening up new possibilities for imagined futures.
Parisa Mah emigrated from Iran with their family at the age of 8 to stolen Anishinabe, Ininew, Oji-Cree, Dene, Dakota, and Metis land (Winnipeg). In 2020, Parisa obtained their honours BA from the University of Manitoba and immediately pivoted focus to art. Their interdisciplinary work arose from a deep need to revise and repel colonial narratives perpetuated throughout their anthropology degree, while simultaneously providing context for the emergence of intersections between “race,” and "place," bringing particular attention to those subjugated by imagined borders. Their work surveys topics such as exile, queerness, fractures of state (metaphysical and geo-political), and global movement. Parisa's most recent group show was displayed for Salon Al-Mahjar in May Day Space, Brooklyn. They currently reside on stolen Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wendat land (Kingston), and are pursuing their MFA at Parsons New School in the fall.
Avery Mooring was inspired to begin sewing and fashion design at a very young age after watching her mother sew for hours at their dining room table. Avery was mesmerized by the depths at which her creativity could flow in the realm of fabric manipulation. Through the support of her high school teachers and principal, she began competing in the Skills Ontario Competition for Fashion Design and received a silver medal in her final year. Through her involvement in Queen's fashion community she began to concern herself with the troubles at hand surrounding fast fashion. As a designer, Head of Independent Design, and now Co-President of VCFS she continues to pursue sustainable options for fashion design. Avery has also dabbled in collaborative work by partnering with a local custom apparel business, Shop Dressr. Together they curated a sustainable Homecoming collection and have future projects on the way.
Liz Rae Dalton has developed an art practice in the Kingston region through teaching creating and exhibiting. For more than three decades she has lived/worked on an Island near Kingston, Ontario, bringing her face to face with nature in all of its forms. On her Island Liz has experienced extreme weather, flooding, drought, loss of winter ice, and habitats under pressure. These concerns triggered new directions in her studio practice. With an aim to create art with a gentle eco-sensitive approach she began to use found wood, upcycled materials and encaustic paint. Liz's most recent works use torches, fire, and char to underscore the heating of the earth’s surface. Liz Rae Dalton has exhibited locally and regionally while developing her own personal voice creating art as a form of advocacy. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections in Canada and the USA.
Jill Price is a Canadian artist of German, Welsh, Scottish and Ukrainian descent grateful to be studying, living and playing on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee, and Wendat Nation. Achieving her BFA and BEd from Western University, Price also recently completed an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art Media and Design at OCADU in 2017 in which she was a recipient of a 2016 SSHRC national research grant and the 2017 Michael Smith Foreign Study Bursary for her research into the ecological, social and psychological shadows of the global textile industry. Also winning the 2017 Research and Writing Award for her thesis Land as Archive: A Collection of Seen and Unseen Shadows. Price continues to explore the histories and agency of materials while pursuing a PhD in Cultural studies at Queens University where she is currently a SSHRC Research Fellow investigating UN/making as a creative act.
JoAnn Ralph is both an artist and a healthcare worker. She has spent much of her life among frontline healthcare providers and people who use healthcare services. JoAnn began drawing with pen and ink over fifty years ago. Her work is detailed, she draws several hours most evenings and she works on numerous drawings at once. She believes her work has been in uenced by visual and life experiences she considers to have been profound, including the viewing of matter under a microscope, the study of schematic diagrams of neuroanatomical structures, viewing the world from above, looking at art and spending time with interesting people. JoAnn has repurposed materials in her art practice for decades. She has printed on leather and drawn on both stone and paper samples. She has cut mats from recycled or imperfect “seconds” and refurbished metal frames. JoAnn’s 3D works consists of repurposed materials as well.
Hershita Tully is pursuing her Masters in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University. Being a diligent student, she has always been interested in learning different forms of art. Hershita used to do a lot of craft work back in her school days but when the pandemic hit everyone and nobody knew how to spend their day so she started painting and slowly improved her technique and is now being featured in exhibitions. Though she likes experimenting, she primarily loves to paint using acrylics. She has participated in Juvenis Art Festival and the Tett Tuesday Exhibition. Apart from being a visual artist, Hershita is also a trained classical dancer and a baker.
This exhibition is presented in affiliation with Queen's Global Summer, with thanks to Amitava Chowdhury, Jennifer Lucas and Alejandro Arauz. The exhibition is curated by Art History MA student, Akosua Adasi; juried by Akosua Adasi, Jen Kennedy, Sunny Kerr and Carina Magazzeni; with installation coordinated by Akosua Adasi, Carina Magazzeni, and Abby Nowakowski. Queen's Global Summer is the first interdisciplinary on-campus summer program for the Faculty of Arts and Science. The program offers new for-credit courses to undergraduate students, as well as a host of unique experiences to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, professionals, and the wider community, which will take place in summer 2022 over 6 weeks in July and August.
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