Mitchell Art Gallery – Grasping at the Roots
Curated by Christina Battle
Photo Credits: Blaine Campbell
Photo Credits: Lukas Schlums
A community project partially funded by the Dufferin Arts Council through the Reed T. Cooper Bursary in which newcomers to Dufferin and Simcoe Counties created glass objects from sculptures made in clay. Other making practices they were already engaged in were included -cardboard sculptures and crocheted objects. The sculptures were representations of their immigration story, in which the objects held their memories, longing and hopes. Stories were also recorded in written and audio forms. The project also included work from students from Randall Public School in Markham, most of whom were first or second generation immigrants.
The aim of the project was to continue the process of relationship-building with newcomers, Syrian newcomers in particular in a small town, while providing a way of communicating their stories than in typical journalistic, often voyeuristic forms. It was also important to me to show a way beyond the discourse of immigration and settlement to the discourse of dwelling – finding home, without the need for a notion of fixity to call a place home. All of the materials used in the project refer to homemaking, warmth and belonging.
Participants and artists:
Khaleel Huseyin Allosh
Debbie Ebanks Schlums
Grade 6 and 7 students from Randall Public School