This past spring The Latcham Gallery offered an open call to artists across Ontario, looking for artwork that engages with the themes of activism and advocacy. More than 70 submissions were received, covering a range of social and economic issues. Then, the job began to narrow the focus to four artists for a group exhibition. The theme of activism and advocacy was selected to provide a space where artists could address contemporary issues, raise awareness and even challenge existing ideas and systems of power.
The resulting exhibition entitled, Performing Action: Portraits of Protest, connects four artists whom each offer a unique perspective on the act of protest and the performance often involved with taking action. Together the works reflect on the various ways one can advocate for change and how such experiences can be represented and documented. While the works in this exhibition are primarily lens-based, there’s a performative aspect that figures prominently. Through self-portraits, documentary photos that bring individuals together through text, assembled global news footage and collected objects left behind at sites of protests, the artists explore how objects can act as vessels of information and how spaces can be activated by those objects.
Whether individually or as a gathered group, the portraits of protest tell stories about the human condition and the importance of carving out space to be seen and heard. Join the artists at the opening reception from 7-9 p.m. on July 5.
Performing Action: Portraits of Protest, featuring artists Joyce Crago, Christina Margaretha, Cheryl Pagurek and Lorraine Parow, runs from July 5 to Aug. 18 at The Latcham Gallery, 6240 Main Street, Stouffville.
Artwork image: Christina Margaretha, Reconnection, 2018, inkjet print