Beyond the Stone Angel: Artists Reflect on the Deaths of their Parents

14 October 2021 – 13 February 2022

About the Exhibition

Curated By

Timothy Long

Organized & Circulated By

The MacKenzie Art Gallery

Galleries

RHW, Hill & Rawlinson Galleries

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. 

FEATURED ARTISTS: 

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. 

FILM PROGRAM:

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.

Works in the Exhibition

Sherry Farrell Racette (Canadian, born 1952) <i>A Blanket for My Father</i>, 1997, colour photocopy on fabric. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, purchased with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program. Photo: Don Hall, courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery.

Sherry Farrell Racette (Canadian, born 1952) A Blanket for My Father, 1997, colour photocopy on fabric. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, purchased with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program. Photo: Don Hall, courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery.

 
Zachari Logan, <i>Moon Flowers (My Father's Skin)</i>, 2017, chalk pastel and graphite on black paper. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Photo: Cheryl O’Brien, courtesy Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto.

Zachari Logan, Moon Flowers (My Father's Skin), 2017, chalk pastel and graphite on black paper. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Photo: Cheryl O’Brien, courtesy Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto.

 
Bev Pike, <i>Ghosts in the Closet</i>, 1982, watercolour, ink, litho pencil, pastel. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, gift of the artist. Photo by Don Hall

Bev Pike, Ghosts in the Closet, 1982, watercolour, ink, litho pencil, pastel. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, gift of the artist. Photo by Don Hall

 
Bev Pike, <i>Nothing in the Drawer</i>, 1981, watercolour, ink, litho pencil, pastel. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, gift of the artist. Photo by Don Hall.

Bev Pike, Nothing in the Drawer, 1981, watercolour, ink, litho pencil, pastel. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, gift of the artist. Photo by Don Hall.

 
Gabriela García-Luna, <i>on the skin of my father</i>, 2006-2007, negative photographic print on polyester fabric. Installation at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery, 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Gabriela García-Luna, on the skin of my father, 2006-2007, negative photographic print on polyester fabric. Installation at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery, 2011. Photo courtesy of the artist.