Curated by Halley Ritter, Curatorial Assistant
Libby Hague, Tung Ping Li, Kenneth Lochhead, Ann Smith, Pamela R. Smith, and Diane Whitehouse
December 9, 2021 to February 25, 2022
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.
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School of Art Gallery
180 Dafoe Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2