In our Main Gallery
John Maclennan has been photographing the labour movement in Ontario for over a decade. From strikes, to rallies, to conventions and direct actions, Maclennan's lens has documented the many and diverse faces of the people involved in the struggle to improve the lives of workers across our province.
A member of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, his work offers a unique, grassroots perspective of the province's labour movement, focusing on the front line workers, students and activists that reflect the movement's commitments to social justice and embue and embody union solidarity - truly the spirit of our movement.
M. Fleur-Ange Lamothe
Artist and former Smooth Rock Falls resident, M.Fleur-Ange Lamothe tells the story of this once thriving community through textile, sculpture, photography and video.
THE BOILERMAKERS & IRONWORKERS UNION
Opening Reception: Friday January 13th, 2011
The Boilermakers and Ironworkers Union brings together the work of artists Camille Turner and Rick Hill, curated by Jennifer LaFontaine. Growing up in the family of boilermakers and ironworkers respectively, both Camille and Rick have carved out their own life paths from these working families to becoming working artists. Both draw on their family experiences and infuse these identities into their artistic practices.
When she was nine years old, Camille came to Canada with her mother and sister to live with her father. They settled in Hamilton, where her father, a boilermaker, made his living in the steel industry.Hometown Queen is a series of staged photographs of Miss Canadiana, in full-colour, posing in front of panoramic sepia-toned views of Hamilton's steel mills. Through her hallmark use of humour and irony, she both pays homage and explores her contradictory relationship to her hometown.
Also presented in this exhibition is Sankta Barbara, a video work collaboratively created by Camille Turner in collaboration with composer Paulo C. Chagas. The work was created in 2003 during Interaktions-Labor, a residency in an abandoned coalmine in Germany. It draws on the energy of Shango, an African diety who is syncretized with Sankta Barbara, to form a meditation on the unseen and unacknowledged work performed by men in the mine each day.
As Native artist Rick Hill says in his digital story Decisive Moments, "I didn't hear about the Creation story, the Great Law or any of that. All I heard about was being an ironworker. I thought that was my destiny." He recounts his path from ironworker to artist, and the ripple effect it had through his family. His large collection of black and white photographs documents the lives of ironworkers, "to help others see the lives of my heroes as I saw them." The photos and video pieces selected for this exhibit include ironworkers, family, photographers and craftspeople who taught Rick about art, how it shaped his own sense of self, and where his art has evolved from these inspirations.