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Emily Jan, The Living Museum

May 6 – June 18, 2022

“I will be continuing my exploration into the ink and dye potential of the plants, lichens, and minerals that can be sustainably and responsibly harvested in Newfoundland, and using them to create wall-scale drawings of the field specimens and found objects I collect on my travels.

I will also be partnering with the curators at The Rooms to work with two classes of object which they have in their care: first, the utilitarian objects that have, throughout human history on the island, been created entirely out of materials sourced here and in the seas around; and second, the relics of disaster, i.e. the beautiful object which records a terrible event, things which have been shaped by both human hands and by uncontrollable forces. 

Newfoundland has long been known to outsiders as a place where Place matters. What does it mean to belong to a place? The question has been asked many times and in various ways, but the angle I am interested in, given the current state of the world, is the tension between permanence and instability – what does “belonging” mean when the place to which one belongs is precarious, or subject to radical and violent change?”


Emily Jan (b. 1977, Los Angeles) is a Canadian-American artist and writer currently based in Edmonton, AB. Her biophilic sculptures and installations combine the found with the fabricated to evoke the faraway and the fantastical. As a wanderer, naturalist, and collector of objects and stories, she is guided in her work by the spirit of exploration, kinship, and curiousity. 

Recent exhibitions include Wild at the Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto (2019), The World is Bound by Secret Knots at Art Mûr, Montreal (2020) and Eastern Edge, St. John’s (2019), and Castaways: A Climate Action Project at the Robert Bateman Centre Gallery of Nature, Victoria, BC (2020). Upcoming exhibitions include the Biennale nationale de sculpture contemporaraine at l’Galerie d’art du parc, QC, and Encre Sauvage / Wild Ink at Vaste et Vague, QC (2022). Past residencies include Union House Arts, NL (2019), Artscape Gibraltar Point (2018), the Elsewhere Museum (2017), and Denali National Park (2016).

Jan has written and illustrated three books: still life (2014), A Denali Book of Hours (2017) and Glory of the Seas: A Shell Collector’s Journey (2019, with Stephen H. Kawai).

Glenn Gear, Paige Gratland, Daniel Barrow

Residency: July 8 – August 20
Exhibition: September 2 – October 15, 2022

Paige Gratland (BC), Daniel Barrow (MB), and Glenn Gear (NL) all met during the Intergenerational LGBT Residency at Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island last summer. There they spent two weeks working together, exchanging stories, ideas and images, and saw many commonalities within their bodies of work. They each employ narrative from a distinctly queer perspective and also each infuse their love of narrative into object-making. Specifically, they each make videos and objects that employ a decorative charge, revealing little by little an encoded queer content. The videos and the decorative or wearable objects (whether it be cowboy boots, traditional beading, or miniature t-shirts on mannequins) illustrate intimate scenes of contemplation, sexual freedom, phobias or shameful obsessions.

“After working in the community for two weeks this past summer, it seemed obvious that a group exhibition was emerging. We imagined presenting this show in each of our respective home provinces – so that we can each have the opportunity to act as a host for each other and, of course, for the work itself.”

Pyramid 2, 2018, Mixed media sculptural wall piece, Materials: Wood, screen- printed paper, toilet paper, resin, fabric, plastic, by Daniel Barrow

TakKik, 2018, part of the exhibit, Tionnhehkwen; Visions of Seeds by Native Immigrant, Montreal, by Glenn Gear

Gay State Boots, 2013, Leather Boot, by Paige Gratland

April White, Nonreciprocal

September 2nd – October 15th, 2022

White created a character called Noodle who is learning about the world through meandering, impulse, and touch. Noodle is a sewn “copy” of a crudely drawn self-portrait/comic. Since Noodle doesn’t talk, the communicative aspect of performance is through gesture and body language and also simply through Noodle being seen. The Residency will engage with nonreciprocal types of communications as it exists in day-to-day norms in a way that many people may not consider.

Jillian McDonald, Tunnel

October 28th – December 10th, 2022

Tunnel is a multi-channel video work, with accompanying drawings, that will be filmed in Eastern Newfoundland, on New York’s Governors Island, in a Brooklyn backyard, and in the Southwestern United States. The project is informed by living and sheltering in a virus epicentre and seeing its profound effects.