Beyond the Stone Angel is an exhibition of deep personal significance to me as it grew out of the loss of both my parents in a short span in 2015-2016. As I was processing that loss, I became aware of a surprising range of artworks addressing this subject, including a handful of works already in the MacKenzie’s collection. The resulting exhibition of twelve artists is a poetic exploration that provides an entrance point to the grief that has affected so many of us, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using their first-hand experiences to peel back the veneer of convention, the artists in this exhibition explore the life-altering aspects of this event. Their loss is articulated through a variety of cultural and artistic frames, often influenced by their diasporic, gender, and post-colonial identities.
One constant in the works is a movement of attention from the concrete details of a life lived to something that is ephemeral, transparent, beyond the veil. In this in-between space, presence and absence, beauty and sickness, memory and oblivion, the individual and the cosmic, flicker and fluctuate. Stone-like opacity and spiritual transcendence overlap creating poignant monuments to the life-givers who have left.
Gabriela Agüero, Laura Barrón, Shauna Beharry, Deborah Carruthers, Erika DeFreitas, Sherry Farrell Racette, Gabriela García-Luna, Spring Hurlbut, Zachari Logan, Bev Pike, Robin Poitras, and Lyla Rye.
In conjunction with this exhibition, audiences are welcomed to view Separate Journeys, Shared Paths: filmmakers reflect on the death of their parents and grandparents a collection of curated short films. Learn more about this program here.