Culture X: Bodies in Nature, Bodies Online

Jun 2 - Aug 31, 2021

The past year has been a mass experiment in digital contingency where we have sought to explore a world together from afar. In the Cultural Studies Department at Trent University, this has meant rethinking our pedagogical approaches to research-creation and to the discourse surrounding art, culture, and theory. The students in our studio courses found innovative and insightful ways to engage with artistic production quite literally from their bedrooms, becoming one of the strongest cohorts of emerging artists we’ve seen in years. Their body of work crosses disciplines, mediums, and theoretical approaches, questioning and problematizing digitality, the body, identity, movement, nature, and the ontology of art in an age of contagion. These artworks were created in a handful of courses encompassing the Cultural Studies integrated arts platform and submitted for the Gregory R. Frith Memorial Prize: CUST 2172H: Performance and Protest, CUST2186H: Photography, CUST3111H: Visual Arts Studio, CUST3142H: Experimental Music, and CUSTCUST4586H: Cinema in the Digital Age.

Held in the Hand: Beading and Family History as art practice in the work of Jobena Petonoquot and Teresa Vander Meer-Chassé

Jobena Petonoquot & Teresa Vander Meer-Chasse Curated by Lori Beavis

Mar 5 - Apr 17, 2021

Text by Lori Beavis
February 15, 2021

This digital exhibition1, Held in the Hand: Beading and Family History,  brings together work by two emerging artists, Jobena Petonoquot and Teresa Vander Meer-Chassé. Jobena Petonoquot is an Algonquin artist from Kitigan Zibi, Quebec.  Teresa Vander Meer-Chassé is an Upper Tanana member of the White River First Nation, Yukon and Alaska. Vander Meer -Chassé has been beading since childhood, while Petonoquot taught herself beading in her mid-20s.  

Attention is a task we share

Robin Love

Gallery 1 / Gallery 2
Feb 19 - Mar 27, 2021

“Isn’t it funny how sense has no schedule.” – Robin Love, Attention is a task we share: Thesis Presentation (2019)

Attention is a task we share consists of three video works by Nogojiwanong / Peterborough based artist Robin Love, all created during her BFA at OCAD University. In these works, Love carves out space for moments of not knowing. Her performances resist the audience’s desire for a satisfying instant of completion and bring to light how process, with all of its pauses, failures, improvisations, and revelations, can yield delightful and insightful moments of discovery.


John Climenhage

Nov 18 - Dec 12, 2020

We are excited to announce the extension of John Climenhage's solo exhibition Around to December 12, 2020!

Peterborough artist John Climenhage has been painting the outdoors for over 20 years. Most recently, he's turned his attention to the neighbourhoods and urban architecture of downtown Peterborough. Around brings together a selection of the artist's 2020 paintings, which are interested in the here and now. The works savour liminal space and play with the drama of light and cloud-filled skies. They are luminous, mundane, and delightful in their richness.

Breaking Down Stereotypes

First Peoples House of Learning, Trent University

Nov 4 - Nov 14, 2020

At Trent University, the First Peoples House of Learning (FPHL) supports Indigenous students as they navigate their post-secondary experience. Over the years, many students have shared with FPHL the hurtful and racist remarks they've heard on campus. Breaking Down Stereotypes is a photo-based community project that works to challenge these perceptions by confronting racist assumptions and celebrating personal identity.


Alexis Bulman

Gallery 1 / Gallery 2
Sep 11 - Oct 24, 2020

Curated by Hannah Keating

Alexis Bulman is an emerging artist from Prince Edward Island, currently based in Montreal. Her performance, sculpture, and installation work frequently draws on community and collaboration to explore themes of trust, care, belonging, and access in public space. The artist’s investigations are achieved through deep engagements with materials and process. From lumber to sidewalk salt to discarded household objects, Bulman uses materials as sites for sharp and, at times, playful intervention, relying on the instincts of her own body to inform her conversations with materials and movement. In MAKE/SHIFT, Bulman uses sheets of drywall and the gallery’s physical architecture to bring attention to the barriers, both physical and ideological, that continue to exist in the contemporary art world. Employing a disability framework, the work invites audiences to explore ableism in the gallery setting.


Shellie Zhang with Maria Patricia Abuel

Gallery 1 / Gallery 2
Mar 6 - Apr 18, 2020

Curated by Tiffany Schofield

Abundance is a new project by Shellie Zhang featuring sculptural, photographic and installation-based works. The exhibition combines visual cues from imagery of plentiful fruit in produce advertisements and cultural rituals as a metaphor for the dreams and labour that extends across oceans and generations.  Abundance is a cyclical reflection on two actions: The artist’s relatives bringing her pieces of cut fruit in her youth, and her leaving fruit offerings at their graves.

The project is accompanied by Bulaklak, a performance for the camera by Maria Patricia Abuel. Abuel enacts a ritual of preparing and devouring 100 mango flowers, a fruit which grounds her in familial and cultural histories.  A personal meditation on matriarchal roles and sacrifices, the artist honours and reclaims the traditions she’s inherited.

___a lineage of transgression___

Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Jamilah Malika Abu-Bakare

Gallery 1 / Gallery 2
Jan 10 - Feb 22, 2020

Curated by Liz Ikiriko

___a lineage of transgression___ explores language as a tool to challenge the limitations of systemic definitions of Blackness and womanhood. As writers, poets, teachers and creators - Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Jamilah Malika Abu-Bakare - use film, audio, photocopies, collage and text to play with the materiality of words. Continuing subversive traditions practiced by noted feminist writers such as nikki giovanni, Octavia Butler, Ntozake Shange, Audre Lorde to contemporaries Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip and Christina Sharpe - both artists use voice, revision, redaction and annotation to expand and dismantle singular interpretations of Blackness. What happens when we free language from the page and allow it to become spatial, audible or sculptural? What does that teach us about words that attempt to define and contain us? The artists work are inherently bound to a lineage of makers who have provided the speculative blueprint for deconstructing monolithic notions of identity and representation.

Artspace takes pride in honouring the annual celebration of Black History Month with this exhibition. On February 15 a symposium will take place that includes a panel discussion with the artists and celebrated writer/poet M. NourbeSe Philip along with a workshop hosted by Kameelah Janan Rasheed. Along with the public programming, the creation of a published catalogue will mark this seminal moment in the history of the city. More information will be available soon.


___a lineage of transgression___ is generously supported by TD Bank Group.


Curated by William Kingfisher

Gallery 1 / Gallery 2
Nov 1 - Dec 14, 2019

Please join Artspace on Friday, November 1, 2019 from 6 – 9 pm for the opening of enawendewin/relationships, an exhibition of work by Anong Migwans Beam, Ron Benner, Jennifer Cole, David Deleary, and Lisa Myers.

enawendewin/relationships looks to the ancestral gardens of the Anishinaabe as inspiration and as a practical organizing principle for growing gardens today. The gardens created over the spring and summer 2019 were active participants in this project, rather than plots of land acted upon without their consideration.