falling through our fingers

falling through our fingers

Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University

Faune Ybarra, Iceberg Stranded in My Bed, 2020–23. Performance series. Courtesy of the artist.

May 23, 2023
falling through our fingers
June 3–September 17, 2023
Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University
61 York Street
Sackville New Brunswick E4L 1E1
Hours: Friday–Monday 10am–5pm,
Saturday–Sunday 1–5pm

T +1 506 364 2574
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Excel Garay, Daze Jefferies, B.G-Osborne, Racquel Rowe, Kelsey Street, Faune Ybarra. Curator: Emily Critch.

falling through our fingers is a group exhibition that considers the complexities of preservation and the possibilities of archives. Each of the six contemporary artists included present new work that mediates institutional, personal, and familial collections to engage with intergenerational dialogues, undocumented labour, diasporic histories, historical erasure, grief, and joy. In locating and weaving threads between archival interstices, the exhibition acknowledges the interconnectedness of past, present, and future.

In her work Iceberg Stranded in My Bed, artist Faune Ybarra uses a series of diasporic gestures to engage with a collection of archival photographs taken by Robert Edwards Holloway that are housed in the Digital Archives of Memorial University (Newfoundland). Part of a performance series, this work moves between the island of Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) and Vancouver, where Ybarra currently lives, and invites the audience to consider the movement of bodies in relationship to migration and undocumented histories. In a similar vein, Mi’kmaw artist Kelsey Street thinks through ideas of home, community, memory, and connection in works rooted in ancestral relationships to the lands and waters of Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay of Islands, Newfoundland). In Weaving With You, she undertakes an intergenerational collaboration with her grandmother, Alice Mary Bennett, a Mi’kmaw woman who lived much of her life on Woods Island, a small fishing community in Elmastukwek that was resettled in the 1960s.

The work of B.G-Osborne is also greatly influenced by matrilineal legacies. In the ongoing series EACH OTHER, Osborne uses personal family archives, sculpture, and installation to articulate both their grief and the intangible, yet boundless relationship they have with their birth mother, Joan, who passed away in 1995. Matrilineal histories and collaboration are also significant within the artistic practice of Barbadian-born artist Racquel Row. In the two-channel video installation Sea Bath, Rowe and her mum are seen sea bathing, a ritual traditionally done by elders in the Bajan community. Moving both independently and in harmony with each other, they emphasize the interconnectedness of land, water, family, and identity throughout the Black Diaspora.

Much like the other artists in this exhibition, Daze Jefferies has a deep connection to the Atlantic. Born and raised in the Bay of Exploits on the northeast coast of rural Ktaqmkuk, her research-based creative practice works with archives, beach wash-up, queer ephemera, oral histories, sound, poetry, sculpture, theory, performance, and illustration to engage with the ocean as a body, a transformative entity, and an archival relation. Equally interested in narratives carried by the sea, Excel Garay investigates the emergence of ultramarine blue, both as a colour that alludes to the vastness of water, space, and the unknown, and as a commodity purveyed via colonial trade routes. Her work thus addresses both the history of extraction and the unrecorded and unarchived histories of the larger diaspora it creates.

We would like to acknowledge that Mount Allison University is located within the traditional territory of Mi’kma’ki, the unceded ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq. Our relationship and our privilege to live on this territory was agreed upon in the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1725 to 1752. Because of this treaty relationship, it is to be acknowledged that we are all Treaty People and have a responsibility to respect this territory.

Owens Art Gallery
Mount Allison University, 61 York Street Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. Admission is free. For detailed information on venue access, please visit our Accessiblity page.

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Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University
May 23, 2023

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