Alize Zorlutuna: We Who Have Known Many Shores / Jagdeep Raina: Destroyer

Alize Zorlutuna: We Who Have Known Many Shores / Jagdeep Raina: Destroyer

Art Gallery Burlington

Alize Zorlutuna, Carrying Seas, 2023. Ebru on paper. Courtesy of Alison Postma.

May 1, 2024
Alize Zorlutuna
We Who Have Known Many Shores
May 10–September 1, 2024
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Jagdeep Raina
April 13–June 23, 2024
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Art Gallery Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Rd
Burlington Ontario L7S 1A9
Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 10am–9pm,
Friday–Sunday 10am–5pm

T +1 905 632 7796

We Who Have Known Many Shores is for all of us who have come from elsewhere—built home and fallen in love with the land, here.”  —Alize Zorlutuna   

We Who Have Known Many Shores brings together material practices rooted in Anatolian textiles, ceramics, and marbling, and contemporary mediums, to forge new pathways for considering diasporic relationships to place and belonging. Conjuring earth, air, water, fire, and spirit, transdisciplinary artist Alize Zorlutuna collages mediums, methods, and geographies at the AGB for their first solo exhibition in a public art gallery.     

Exploring ancestral material practices through contemporary means, Zorlutuna reconnects threads that have been severed through displacement, imagining what healing might look like for those who have been separated from their homelands. Their approach emerges from years of research, training, and practice engaging with material and cultural technologies from the SWANA region (Southwest Asia and North Africa) while thinking through relationships to place, settler-colonialism, diaspora, and healing.  Following generations of makers, they repeat patterns and actions known to many hands—the marbling of Ebru, the tufting of carpets, the coiling of ceramic vessels, the dying of silks; their hands hold deeply embodied knowledge and wisdom acquired through repeated engagement with traditional craft practices and a collaboration with the elements.     

We Who Have Known Many Shores addresses diasporic relationships to land and water by tracing the outlines of waterways that have informed Zorlutuna’s sense of home. Using fabric, seeds, and video, they trace the contours of Lake Ontario’s shores, bends in the Humber River, and key waterways in Anatolia—the continental boundary of the Bosporus Strait, and the Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas. Incorporating healing plants from Anatolia and Turtle Island, as well as inviting the elements of wind and water into the exhibition, Zorlutuna explores the emotional landscape of belonging to place.    

Guelph-born, New York-based artist Jagdeep Raina’s Destroyer is a dramatic mise-en-scène featuring a selection of recent ceramics, embroidered tapestries, works on paper, and poetry. The carefully composed set draws inspiration from Dal Lake, the second largest body of water in Kashmir, and the most visited place in Srinagar by tourists and locals.  

Through his delicate fabric works and gestural ceramics, Jagdeep uncovers the harsh colonial ties to this coveted place and the resulting loss of local traditions over time. During colonial India in the 19th century, houseboats were commissioned by the British empire to serve as accommodation for British officials. After India gained independence from Britain in 1947, the empty houseboats were converted to luxury hotels on the water. Forty years later in 1989, the tourism industry in Kashmir collapsed due to insurgency and violent conflicts of the state. As hundreds of these boats stand empty and in disrepair, Kashmir stands to lose an important part of its culture, heritage, and an entire tourism industry. 

“Through this exhibition, I aim to unravel the complex layers of history, displacement, and resilience woven within the fabric of Dal Lake,” Raina says. “Destroyer serves as a lens to examine the interplay between colonial legacies and contemporary realities.” 

We Who Have Known Many Shores is curated by Suzanne Carte Artistic Director/Curator, AGB, and Destroyer is curated by Jasmine Mander, Associate Curator, AGB.  

We Who Have Known Many Shores has been generously sponsored by Alinea Group Holdings Inc. and supported by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts.  

The AGB is supported by the City of Burlington, Ontario Arts Council, and Ontario Trillium Foundation. The AGB’s learning programming has been sponsored by The Burlington Foundation and the Incite Foundation for the Arts. 

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Art Gallery Burlington
May 1, 2024

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