September 16 – December 22, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, September 15, 6-10pm
Guest curated by Jennifer Rudder
The artistic practice of Mary Anne Barkhouse is deeply engaged with environmental and indigenous issues and incorporates in a central role a visual iconography of animals. Barkhouse situates her work between the two worlds of the human and the natural and employs the beaver, raven, wolf, and coyote as symbols of the ability to adapt, persist, regenerate, and repair throughout endless environmental incursions. Her skilled handling of traditional sculptural materials such as wood, bronze, porcelain, metal, and glass bring both a refined sensibility and serious tone to her often-playful installations. The works reflect on our skewed experience of nature as a resource for human needs rather than as an ecosystem with its own intrinsic value.
In Le Rêve aux Loups (The Dream of Wolves), Barkhouse invokes the animal inhabitants of the land and the flamboyant interiors of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, in artworks that reveal the transitory nature of empire, and highlight both the triumphs and betrayal that delineate history north of the 49th parallel.
Mary Anne Barkhouse was born in Vancouver and belongs to the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation. An established artist and sculptor, she is a descendant of a long line of internationally recognized Northwest Coast artists that includes Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin, and Charlie James.
Galleries that have showcased her work include the Ottawa Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Peterborough; Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa; Art Gallery of Sudbury; Gallery Stratford; and the Wave Hill Glyndor Gallery, New York. Her public art installations can be found in parks and university campuses across Ontario and her work is in the collections of many prestigious institutions, including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa; McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg; Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Vancouver; Art Gallery of Guelph; Banff Centre for the Arts; and the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
Barkhouse is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and is currently based in Minden, Ontario.
Jennifer Rudder has been engaged in the visual arts in Toronto and Canada in a variety of roles for thirty years. Following five years as Director/Curator at Gallery Stratford, she graduated from the Masters of Visual Studies: Curatorial Studies program at the University of Toronto in 2010. Her graduate exhibition, NATURAL HISTORY, showed at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto and toured to Gallery Stratford in 2010. In the late 1990s Rudder served as contributing editor for the art publications MIX and Canadian Art, and has published reviews and articles in Fuse, Lola, Canadian Art, C Magazine, and Prefix Photo. As an independent, Rudder has curated numerous exhibitions including: Crime and Punishment (1999), Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, which toured to Gallery 44, Toronto, and the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon. In March 2014, her exhibition Glam North: Doris McCarthy and her New Contemporaries opened at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, Scarborough. The curated exhibition Genuine Concrete, recent works by Toronto painter Sheila Ayearst, took place at 26, Toronto in 2014. In September 2015, “Sheila Ayearst: The Trans-Canada Highway and the Landscape of Ruin,” was published in parallax, the art history publication of Leeds University.
Inherent in her most critical curatorial work is the examination of the historical misapplication of scientific theories and technologies that result in harmful effects on segments of society. She is concerned with the ways in which western thought has categorized difference, delineating us and them, human and non-human, culture and nature.
Jennifer Rudder is a practicing independent curator as well as Assistant Professor in the undergraduate and graduate programs of Criticism and Curatorial Practice at Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto.