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Tyshan Wright: Maroon Town


Maroon Town is an immersive exhibition by Kjipuktuk (Halifax)-based artist Tyshan Wright. Following their forced exile after the Second Maroon War with the British, Jamaican Maroons were exiled to Mi’kma’ki and the British colony of Nova Scotia in 1796. Despite sustained resistance and protest, the majority of Maroons departed Nova Scotia centuries ago, however, many Maroon descendants still live in this province where the legacy of Maroon culture endures. In this exhibition, Tyshan Wright creates a staged Maroon house and settlement that includes expertly handcrafted iterations of the ceremonial and everyday domestic objects that Maroons were forced to leave behind in Jamaica, as well as those they use today. This staged settlement imagines Jamaican Maroons and Maroon life thriving across time and place. Maroon Town celebrates historic Maroon resilience and present-day acts of sovereignty that build a vibrant and connected tomorrow for Maroon descendants.

About the Curator

Julie Hollenbach is a queer, white-settler artist, curator, and cultural historian teaching craft histories and material cultures on unceded Mi’kmaq territory at NSCAD University.

About the Artist

Kjipuktuk (Halifax)-based artist Tyshan Wright works at the intersection of contemporary art and traditional Jamaican Maroon culture and craft. A descendant of Africans who evaded enslavement and created their own self-sustaining communities in the mountains of Jamaica in the 1600s, his work unites present with past narratives of Maroon experience in diaspora.

Exhibition Reception

Wednesday, October 25 at 6:00-8:00pm

The exhibition reception will be a celebratory community event that centers a durational performance by the artist, and will also feature live music and refreshments. Please contact by October 18 with any access needs, requests or inquiries.

Artist Talk

Wednesday, November 8 at 2:00-3:30pm

All are invited to join artist Tyshan Wright for an informal presentation about his work on view in the exhibition Maroon Town. Please contact by November 1 with any access needs, requests or inquiries.


Wednesday, September 27 at 9:30am–11:30am
Wednesday, October 4 at 11:00am–1:00pm
Thursday, October 12 at 6:00pm–8:00pm

Over the course of the Maroon Town exhibition, Tyshan Wright will be enacting durational performances in the Gallery, creating a Maroon home using an adapted wattle and daub building technology. Members of the MSVU campus community and the public are invited to visit the gallery and witness the performance-creation.

All events and programs are free. Please visit the Plan Your Visit and Accessisbility pages for more access, location and venue information.

Please note: photography is not permitted in this exhibition

Installation View - photo, Steve Farmer (2018)

Unpacking the Living Room


Living rooms are spaces we arrange and create around ourselves to support the comfort and well-being of family, to host friends and loved ones, to display precious and prized belongings, and for leisure and relaxation. But living rooms are private spaces packed with emotions and history, as well as social and political investments. The kind of living room we create can reveal our background, our values, our social position, and our aspirations. Even the privilege of having a living room speaks volumes when so many people live in precarious situations, are without shelter, or have been displaced from their homes and traditional lands.

This exhibition explores the many dynamics of domestic environments by staging a radically re-imagined living room in the gallery space. Unpacking the Living Room will host thoughtful community discussions about craft and art, amateurism and professionalism, leisure and labour, and the private and the political. Through playful and insightful interventions, Unpacking the Living Room invites community members to reflect on the histories and ideologies that ground understandings of self, home, belonging, and resilience.

– Julie Hollenbach, curator

Audio Companion



Opening Reception

Saturday, September 22 at 2:00-4:00pm

Please join curator Julie Hollenbach and participating artists for a relaxed reception with refreshments. Artist Emily Davidson will install her wallpaper piece, How It’s Made during the reception.

All events are free to attend and ASL interpretation is available; please email to request an interpreter.


Saturday, September 29 at 1:00-2:30pm

Artist Carrie Allison will introduce the basics of beading and discuss her current collaborative project The Shubenacadie River Beading Project and its sister project Shubie River. These projects invite people to map the Shubenacadie River in beadwork, raising awareness about Indigenous sovereignty and land rights in the process. Capacity is limited and advanced registration is required. Please email by September 26 to register.


Wednesday, October 3 at 12:00-1:30pm

Join artist Ruth Marsh for a hands-on workshop, using deceased bees and retro-electronic components, to learn how environmental change is affecting delicate bee ecology. Capacity is limited and advanced registration is required. Please email by September 26 to register.

Roundtable Discussion

Saturday, September 29 at 3:00-4:30pm

Please join El Jones, Sherry Pictou, Lynn Jones and Gloria Ann Wesley for “Unpacking Colonialism and Environmental Racism in Halifax” a roundtable discussion of these topics and the destruction and displacement of the communities of Turtle Grove and Africville. The discussion will be followed by a relaxed reception and refreshments in the Gallery, sponsored by the MSVU Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies. A free wheelchair accessible shuttle, sponsored by the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group, is available for this event. The shuttle will depart from the Killam Memorial Library at 2:00pm and the return trip will depart MSVU Art Gallery at 4:30pm. Capacity is limited and seating  will be offered on a first come, first served basis.


Saturday, October 20 at 2:00-4:00pm

WORK OUT|WORK OUT is a two-phase collaborative performance piece by Julie Hollenbach and Gambletron challenging idealized feminine gender performance through an immersive theatrical romp that includes culinary sculpture, hobby craft kitsch, and a multi-media dance. The first phase follows a group of friends as they attempt to construct self-portraits. The second phase of the performance sees the friends forgo the arduous task of performing femininity to perfection. Opting instead to glitch, disembody and otherwise intervene in the prescriptive works of mainstream feminine gurus such as Jane Fonda, Martha Stewart, Sheryl Sandberg, and Iliza Schleslinger. This phase of the performance witnesses the friends’ collective embrace of the queer pleasure of gender failure. Visitors are invited to drop-in or attend the whole performance. Financial support for this performance from Arts Nova Scotia is gratefully acknowledged.

Exhibition Guide