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How Do I Look?

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This selection of artists’ self-portraits from the Mount Saint Vincent University Collection addresses both the experience of being looked at by others, and that of returning the gaze. As a corollary to their engagement with practices of looking and appearing, these self-portraits also tackle the frameworks of race, gender and sexuality.

In her extended photographic self-portrait, Rosalie Favell exposes the intersectional consequences of coming out as an Indigenous lesbian. Works by the African Nova Scotian artists Chrystal Clements and Jim Shirley confront the racializing gaze in inventive ways. Replacing images with words, Marie Koehler tackles and triumphs over patriarchal objectifications of women’s appearance. Sarra McNie, on the other hand, subsumes the representation of her nude figure in the formal problems of modernist painting.

Suzanne Swannie, Considering Two Small Forms, for Maja and Marta 1995

An Intimate Distance

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An Intimate Distance presents three multi-component works: Andrea Ward’s Hairstories, Glynis Humphrey’s Gorge and Suzanne Swannie’s Considering Two Small Forms, for Maja and Marta.

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Material Remains

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The works assembled in this exhibition express curiosity, skepticism and disorientation in the face of a world transformed by new technologies and consumption.

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Echo 1: Reflection 2018 (detail) - 5 panels of pearl cotton woven in loom-controlled leno lace 264 x 96 cm (each panel) (photo credit: Steve Farmer)

Prospect 18: Christiane Poulin. Echoes

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Exhibitions in the Prospect series introduce artists in the early phases of their careers.  A retired physician living in Halifax, Poulin recently graduated from NSCAD with a BFA in Textiles. Specially made for this exhibition, her four woven works respond to or “echo” MSVU campus buildings, prompting viewers to perceive analogies between weaving and architecture.  Three of the works incorporate loom-controlled leno lace, a weave in which the warp ends wrap around each other to produce a twisted-lace effect.  The loosely woven fabric allows light to penetrate from both sides and casts complex, dappled shadows. The components of the exhibition are touchable, and visitors are invited to interact with a compact, four-harness hand-loom.

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