On 4 June, the MacKenzie Art Gallery is set to open a brand-new exhibition. The Permanent Collection: What the Bat Knows is the third in a series of year-long exhibitions that explore the depths of the Gallery’s Permanent Collection, featuring the works of 27 artists. This narrative-driven exhibition will unfold in three phases, each exploring separate themes of interconnection, human action, and the possible afterlife—each phase guided by their own unique narrator from a trio of porcelain bat sculptures created by multi-disciplinary artist, Shary Boyle. 

“Bats are incredibly social animals. That intense collectivity—paired with their unique physical characteristics—has spurred myths and misunderstandings the world over,” states Director of Programs Crystal Mowry. “This exhibition imagines a mischievous response on their behalf, an assertion that there are limits to what humans know of the way the world works.” 

Curated by Crystal Mowry, this exhibition encourages visitors to allow themselves to be transported as they envision the possibility of new worlds made accessible through art, and delight in the magic of imagination. What the Bat Knows is an experimental exhibition that reflects on inhuman voices and their role as subversive narrators within a museum, examining the folklore and mythologies of bats and testing our assumptions about authority. The work that takes place in a museum can seem mysterious, shaped by unnamed motives or hidden histories, and guests are challenged to be immersed in the art of storytelling—while remaining critical of the narrator. What the Bat Knows invites visitors to consider how a museum collection is much like a slow-moving narrative—one that is capable of reinvention with each retelling. 

The exhibition will be on display at the MacKenzie Art Gallery until 3 May 2023. 



Katie Wilson 

Communications Coordinator 

MacKenzie Art Gallery  


(306)-584-4250 ext. 4271 


Shary Boyle, Fledertiere (Bat 3), 2008, porcelain. Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, purchased with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program. Photo: Don Hall.

All News