Library, Archives and Bookstore
October 4 – December 10, 2022
Curated by Lauren Smart and Natasha Beaudoin
What are you reading? works as a space to reflect. To think deeply about the curated space of dialogues fabricated between the images, gallery objects, artwork and texts. How the issues presented by Rihab Essayh's of longing and songbirds, The Migrant Dispatch and The Union Gallery archives share a common thematic story with issues related to migration and heritage. Within the gallery, each work intertwines with one another, in order to display a cause for change, to have their voices be heard, and generate an oasis.
Rihab Essayh's installation serves as a contemplative gaze of contemporary interpersonal issues and trauma. As they document the current state of cultural anthropology. All while spreading the idea of wellness, to imagine a soft future and generating a utopium. The Migrant Dispatch work is to document, report and voice the stories of students who have migrated from foreign lands who have encountered anxieties, crises and fears during their journeys. Both of these projects present the hopes, dreams and desires for a better future.
Our selection of texts and archival materials complement these exhibitions as they attempt to share and bring attention to a variety of experiences and feelings surrounding five themes: culture, migration, heritage, trauma, and colonialism. In our display, we have created a mural to support these texts and the valuable stories that are shared. Through the use of lively colours and bold patterns, we’ve assembled a vibrant representation of cross-cultural harmony achieved through shared experiences, good and bad. The visual aspects of our display were specifically selected to supplement and enhance our chosen texts as well as compliment the other exhibitions within the gallery space. Through shared ideals and aesthetics, we hope to foster a welcoming space for inquiry and exploration of the topics and artworks at hand.
Lauren Smart is a fourth-year Undergraduate student at Queen’s University where she is concurrently completing a BFAH and a BEd. She has exhibited work at the Union Gallery and the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Working primarily in oil paint, yarn, and found-object sculpture, her practice examines what being vulnerable and honest with a sense of humour looks like. Her fourth-year research focuses on extending and incorporating childhood into adulthood.
Natasha Beaudoin is a contemporary painter and printmaker who is a graduate BFAH at Queen’s University. Her work can be described as dream-like, with bright colours contrasted against one another. Natasha's work has a youthful quality and does not follow the traditional route of realism. Instead, Natasha's artwork presents an arrangement of topics from family life, Greek mythology, women's activism, mental health and disabilities. Although her works can be seen as beautiful and colourful on the surface, Tasha's artwork inserts a sense of uneasiness and worry into the narrative.
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