Gerald Vaandering & Meagan O’Shea
Curated by Dorothy Vaandering (NL).
Ripped Apart or Stitched Together is an exhibition challenging the perspectives of justice. Two large pieces of artwork each displaying a compilation of images surround you as you enter Eastern Edge’s Rogue Gallery. The first is a 8m x 0.6 meter (26′ x 2′) frieze of a one-year collection of images of people arrested and published in the St. John’s Telegram newspaper.
In each, the names and eyes of those arrested are blacked out. Though visibly present, there are no voices. The second is a 2.3 m x 1.4 m (7.5′ x 4.5′) fabric quilt displaying 40 colourful, individually designed squares surrounding an image of a tree. Each piece has been created and sewn by people whose lives have become entwined through crime–stitched together side by side they tell their story of the traumatic incidents that shaped their lives. Accompanying each quilt square is an audio recording of its creator telling their story. Each speaks of tremendous pain, of moving forward, and of hope through reconciliation.
The two pieces juxtaposed challenge the viewer to consider personal and societal perspectives of justice–what is it and when is it accomplished? To further connect the show to the viewer’s personal life, two questions are posed with the works– What do you need from others when you are harmed? What do you need from others when you cause harm?