September 9 – October 18
NEW-FOUND-LANDS: Exploring historical and contemporary connections between Newfoundland and the Caribbean diaspora
Angela Baker, Sandra Brewster, Alison Duke, Roxana Farrell, Anique Jordan, Bushra Junaid, Wayne Salmon, Tamara Segura, Anita Singh, Camille Turner
Curated by Pamela Edmonds and Bushra Junaid
Friday September 9, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Image credit:Wayne Salmon, On the Wharf, 2000, gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the Artist.
September 9th – October 18th, 2016
Through performance, installation, cuisine, and an exhibition of new and existing works by Canadian-based artists, New-Found-Lands investigates historical and contemporary connections between Newfoundland and the Caribbean diaspora. This multidisciplinary project explores the 300-year history of Newfoundland-Caribbean trade in salt, cod, rum and other mercantile products; reflects on personal ties and varied histories of movement and migration; reveals connections between Newfoundland and Caribbean culture and language; and includes an Afrofuturist performance and archival laboratory which uncover buried truths about Canada’s role in the transatlantic slave trade. Together this engaging work brings new perspectives to the respective islands from a diversity of practices and approaches.
Jamaican born painter, Angela Baker has lived in Corner Brook, Newfoundland since 1976. For New-Found-Lands she focuses on her upbringing and on how colonial trade and barter exploited both Jamaican sugar workers and Newfoundland fishermen Sandra Brewster’s mixed media work explores the lives of her parents’ generation: Caribbean people of African descent who immigrated to Canada in the 1960′s and 70′s. Roxana Farrell examines navigational mapping systems throughout the islands and reflects on economic, trade and tourism links between Newfoundland and the Caribbean. Emerging artist Anique Jordan‘s current auto-biographical photographic work looks at family history, survival of black women and the use of cultural production in gravely intimate, yet global journeys.
For this project Bushra Junaid uses rarely seen historical images and archival narratives to explore her own embodiment of African-Caribbean-Newfoundland connections. Photographer Wayne Salmon documents people and places across Africa and the Caribbean diaspora. Tamara Segura’s experimental documentary illustrates the role of music in the life of a young Cuban couple’s new home in Newfoundland. Anita Singh’s use of bright, passionate colours and the varied techniques she employs attest to her mixed Guyanese, Russian and East Indian background. Newfoundland’s natural environment also has an abiding influence on her ceramic and painted works.
Artist talks/tour with keynote by Dr. Afua Cooper
Saturday, September 10, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Eastern Edge Gallery
Join us and meet the artists and curators who will speak to the work and themes in the exhibition. Dr. Afua Cooper, Associate Professor, James Robinson Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University, Halifax will give an illustrated keynote talk that speaks to the topic of Newfoundland and New World Slavery.
Presentation by Dr. Stephanie McKenzie
Recording Pamela Mordecai’s Poetry and Jamaican-English in Newfoundland
Dr. Pamela Mordecai, accomplished Jamaican-Canadian poet and novelist, recorded nearly twenty-five years of poetry in March 2015 in the studios of the Centre for Innovation in Technology and Learning (CITL, formerly DELTS), at Memorial University of Newfoundland. This first-of-a-kind video collection registers the rhythms of Mordecai’s West Indian speech and indicates rich possibilities for further collaborations in Newfoundland-Caribbean exchanges. Dr. Stephanie McKenzie, executive producer of this project and Associate Professor, English Programme, Grenfell Campus, MUN and Adrian Collins, producer/director for the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, MUN, will speak about the collection, available at the following link:
Reflection of Watas
Friday September 9, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
September 9th – October 2, 2016
Reflections of Wata is a video installation that draws attention to the contrast and similarities between Sierra Leone, Newfoundland and the Caribbean. Here the artist has mixed and combined Super 8 mm video, historic photography of Johannes “Joe” Massaquoi throughout the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s with contemporary photography taken by Duke of the African continent. Joe was a brilliant scientist from Mende and Kria heritage in Sierra Leone who was recruited to be the Chief Medical Laboratory Technologist in Grand Falls, Newfoundland. This powerful installation reflects the diverse images through a carafe filled with clear water. The work stands in honour of the hopes, dreams and sacrifices of black bodies crossing the Atlantic, from slavery to the present day. Of this work, the artist explains; “Wata is the Krio word for water and I hope that it gets gallery visitors to think about their own personal journeys around the world as well as complex journey of black bodies across time and space.”
Angela Baker was born Jamaica in 1941 and settled in Corner Brook, Newfoundland in 1976. Her chosen media includes painting in oils and acrylics, cliché verre as well as stone-carving and casting. She received a BFA from Reading University, England 1964, MA (Art Education) from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1986 and Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1991. She has presented her work in solo and group shows in Kingston, Jamaica, at the Marion McCain Show at the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, as well as the RCA Gallery, Eastern Edge, Christina Parker Gallery, St. John’s and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery in Corner Brook. Her work is in private collections in Caribbean, Canada and Norway and in the Newfoundland Government Collection.
Sandra Brewster holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from York University and is currently pursuing her Masters of Visual Studies at University of Toronto. She is a recipient of grants from the Toronto, Ontario and Canada art councils. Her work has been published in Of Note Magazine, The Walrus, Small Axe, Chimurenga Magazine, Mix Magazine and NKA Journal of Contemporary African Art. Recent exhibition venues include Allegheny Art Galleries in Meadville, Pennsylvania; Alice Yard, Trinidad and Tobago, in Ontario: Onyx Building, Georgia Scherman Projects and A Space Gallery, in Toronto, Robert Langden Gallery, Wilfred Laurier University, in Waterloo and The Print Studio in Hamilton; SPACE, in London, England; and Five Myles Gallery, New York, NY.
Alison Duke is an award-winning independent social justice filmmaker who brings an intimate, creative and electric energy to work addressing ethno-cultural minority youth, violence against Black Canadians and HIV/AIDS awareness for African, Caribbean and black women. She made her directing debut with the groundbreaking seminal hip-hop documentary, Raisin’ Kane: a rapumentary in 2000, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Other notable works include, A Deathly Silence (2003) directed for CBC Witness and Newsworld and Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home(2007), a feature documentary she co-produced that set out to capture the eco-footprint of a Canadian family. Most recently Alison, executive produced The Akua Benjamin Legacy Project (2016) a series of shorts about the contributions of anti-black racism activists in Canada such as Dudley Laws, Charles Roach, Marlene Green, Rosie Douglas and Gwen and Lenny Johnson. Alison also programs Diaspora shorts film for a film program called Black Boxes (now in its 6th year) for the annual Inside Out Toronto LGBT film festival and is the founder of Goldelox Productions a boutique film, video and multi-media production company that strives to fill the demand of quality and entertaining social justice documentaries in Canada.
Roxana Farrell received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto and her Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in New York where she was awarded the Lucille Smyser Lowenfish Memorial Award for Excellence in Design. She continued studies at the Toronto School of Art and has shown her work notably in art installations at the Harbourfront’s York Quay Galley and has given lectures on African architecture at the Royal Ontario Museum. She was an Adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Architecture and has taught art and African history at the Toronto District School Board. Creative pursuits include environmental, ecological and sustainable garden practices and art/ architectural installations, celebrating and using repurposed materials. Roxana’s work has been included in Ontario Doors Open, commissioned at Trinity Anglican Church, presented at Gran-Aurora’s Grandmother’s of Africa and the Anglican Healing Committee and a commissioned invitation at Aurora Public Library. She is based in Aurora, Ontario.
Anique Jordan is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, scholar and award winning social-entrepreneur. At 19 she founded one of the city of Toronto’s first for youth by youth social enterprises working with over 100 young entrepreneurs. As an artist, her artwork plays with the aesthetics found in traditional Trinidadian carnival and the theory of hauntology to challenging historical narratives and create, what she calls, impossible images. Her art creation processes are guided by the questions: What stories do we tell that go unchallenged? And in how many ways can we know a thing? Anique’s work has taken her to Jamaica, Costa Rica, South Africa, Ecuador, Trinidad and Barbados. She has been mentored by internationally recognized dub poet d’bi. young anitafrika, theatre artist and scholar Honor Ford-Smith and poet Christine Craig. Anique’s work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gallery 44, Crossroads Artspace and The Watah Gallery. She is currently working on the manuscript for her first book, Possessed: Black Women, Hauntology and Art as Survival.
Bushra Junaid is a Toronto-based artist and arts administrator. Born in Montreal and raised in St. John’s Newfoundland, she received a Bachelor of Environmental Design and Masters of Architecture from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. Bushra has primarily worked in mixed media collage, drawing and painting. She is interested in history, memory and cultural identity; in particular the arts, culture and histories of the African diaspora. Strongly narrative work is a preoccupation. She illustrated Adwoa Badoe’s Nana’s Cold Days (Groundwood Books; Toronto Public Library, Osborne Collection) and has shown work at Painted City Galley, Galerie Céline Allard, Spence Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto Reference Library, the NFB and most recently in Open House, an exhibition and gathering hosted by artist Sandra Brewster. As an arts administrator, she has spent the past ten years supporting the development and facilitating the art practices of artists from a diverse range of backgrounds, communities and cultures. Junaid has also worked in social housing design, homeless initiatives, newcomers and refugee settlement and community-engaged arts.
Anita Singh was born in Guyana, South America with a Russian and Indian bloodlines. She grew up in Montreal and Toronto, where she studied graphic design and printmaking, and lived in British Columbia for 10 years, working as a graphic designer and visual artist. She has done internships and apprenticeships in book arts, paper-making, and printmaking, in both New York State and England. During a cross Canada trip in 1999, she discovered and fell in love with Newfoundland. She lives with her husband and son in downtown St. John’s, where she works as a printmaker, mixed media artist, and art instructor.
Wayne Salmon is a writer and photographer based in Toronto. Born in Jamaica, he immigrated to Canada in the early 1980’s. After studying English Literature at York University, he developed a passion for photography upon discovering the works of Roy DeCarva. Concerned with issues of culture, identity and representation, his work is focused on portraiture, particularly on peoples of the African and Caribbean Diaspora. Wayne was the founding editor of Umoja Urban Culture Magazine, co-founder and curator at Brickhouse Studio & Gallery, and is one of the founding members of SEEN, a collective of Black Canadian artists. Salmon’s writings have appeared in various publications including The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry. His photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums in Canada and the US. Recent exhibitions include Reflections on Black, at Heritage Canada; Bearing Witness, at XEXE Gallery; and Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Tamara Segura was born in Cuba. Segura graduated with honours in Film Direction from the Cuban Higher Arts Institute and specialized in Screenwriting at the International Film School of San Antonio de los Baños, an acclaimed institution founded by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez to help diversify the globe’s cinematic landscape. Her interventions shed a light on issues such as gendered expressions , as well as global imaginaries of nostalgia. In 2010, Tamara was chosen for a fellowship under the Leaders for the Americas Program to conduct research about female sexuality as social construction by the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Montreal’s Concordia University. Her 2012 short drama Fireflies won the Martin Luther King Award to best short film of the year. In 2013, she was the recipient of the RBC Michelle Jackson Award from the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival for her script for the feature drama Before the War. Song for Cuba is Segura’s first film with the National Film Board of Canada’s Atlantic Centre.
Camille Turner is an explorer of race, space, home and belonging. Born in Jamaica and currently based in Toronto, her work combines Afrofuturism and historical research. Her interventions, installations and public engagements have been presented throughout Canada and internationally. Camille graduated from Ontario College of Art and Design and York University’s Masters in Environmental Studies program where she is currently a PhD candidate.
Pamela Edmonds is an independent curator based in Toronto. She received her BFA and MA from Concordia University, Montreal. The primary focus of her curatorial work is contemporary thematic exhibitions that explore the politics of representation. Edmonds’ is co-director of Third Space Art Projects, a curatorial collective co-founded in 2009 with Sally Frater. TSAP is a forum for the promotion and presentation of multidisciplinary art projects that explore transculturalism, with a particular focus on visual cultures of the Black Atlantic. Recent curated exhibitions include Liminal: Lucie Chan and Jerome Havre, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, 2016; Skin Deep: Re-imaging the Portrait (Nia Centre/Project Gallery, Toronto, 2015; Confluence: Shifting Perspectives of the Caribbean, Arts in Transit, 2014; Tracings: Recent Work from W5 Art Collective, Women’s Arts Resource Centre Gallery, Toronto, 2014; Bounty: Chikonzero Chazunguza, Gallery 101,Ottawa, 2013.
New-Found-Lands is generously supported by Black Artists’ Network Dialogue, Ann Buttrick, Melanie Fernandez, Adiat Fae, Ayoka and Leila Junaid, Scott Masters. Dr. Kenneth Montague / The Wedge Collection, Toronto, John Ryerson and WGSI University of Toronto.