Libby Hague, Echo/The Paradise Within (detail), 1986, lithograph and serigraph (diptych). Collection of the School of Art Gallery; gift of Dr. Ben Shore, Sword Street Press.

About the exhibition

As we take our first steps out of isolation and into this new world, the time has come for us to reflect upon and work through the nuanced and unintelligible parts of our pandemic experiences. Although individual circumstances vary, it’s safe to say that isolation has challenged us all. We had more alone time than ever before. While this has provided opportunities for creativity and self-growth, many of us have also had to face a host of new stressors in relative isolation in addition to the usual loneliness and uncertainty inherent in solitude. We have essentially spent the last two years shifting focus back and forth between our bedroom windows and our mirrors; between the outside chaos of the drastically changing world and the inside chaos of our own thoughts. These experiences would have been entirely inconceivable to most prior to the pandemic and though we are now beginning to move forward, there are things that we still might not fully be able to comprehend or process. To do so, we need to find language that explains feelings we haven’t exactly felt before, and a reality that we are still becoming accustomed to.  We may not yet have words that can capture all that we need to express. When language falls short, we may turn to art to identify, recognize, and validate our emotions, and to help us articulate ourselves authentically.

Alone Time brings together a variety of works that each seem to reflect the extra-linguistic feelings of overwhelm and unreality experienced in isolation. Juxtaposing soft and homey colours, forms, and motifs with abstracted, expressive, non-representational styles and applications, these works reflect some of the emotional conflicts of lockdown solitude and convey the feeling of being stuck in a familiar space during a time full of discomfort and unknowns. Despite having been created decades before the pandemic, the relevance and resonance of these works from the School of Art Gallery Permanent Collection speak both to the timelessness of art and to the impact that the pandemic experience will have on the ways in which we understand art, and everything else, moving forward.


Curatorial Essay: Alone Time

Adjunct Programming

Kate Belew. Photo: Molly Tellekson

Workshop Poetry as Connection with Kate Belew

Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 7:00-8:30 pm CST
Facilitated on Zoom

Coming out of isolation, finding connection with others is more important than ever.
While writing in itself can be a solitary act, writing in community can be a celebration. There are many ways that poetry can craft and forge connections. Not only can we write with others and in groups, but when we write, we're reaching out to readers and when we read, we're building relationships with writers across time and space. In this workshop we'll read pieces of connection, we'll talk about developing writing collaborations and collaborative practices, and we'll generate new work via prompts. This practice comes out of making art during a pandemic year as a way to come up against loneliness. Join us for this 90-minute workshop to explore poetry and writing as a form of connection.

Kate Belew is a Brooklyn-based writer, poet, storyteller, and strategist. Her work spans genres and spaces: poetry, non-profits, immersive theatre, health & wellness, herbalism, witchcraft, and the psychedelic. She has a Masters in Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and is currently an apprentice studying herbalism. Kate is the co-host of the Magick & Alchemy Podcast by Tamed Wild and is the founder of The Bardo online writing school.

Exhibition and adjunct programming presented with the support of the Government of Canada through the Young Canada Works program, Building Careers in Heritage.

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