A rose gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it

Darren Rigo, Paradise for Thorncliffe Park, 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

A rose gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it

January 27 – March 30, 2024
Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough

Waard Ward in collaboration with Anne Campbell, Nicolas Fleming, Reza Nik, Darren Rigo, and Alize Zorlutuna

A rose gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it honours the memory of lost land, while exploring the ways that community can support the pursuit of familiarity and homemaking. This immersive exhibition is initiated by the Waard Ward collective, comprised of artist Petrina Ng, cultural worker Patricia Ritacca, educator Laura Ritacca, and three family members from Toronto’s Syrian newcomer community: Hanen Nanaa, Shoruk Alsakni, and Abd Al-Mounim. Waard Ward works as a social practice collective, proposing experimental solutions to employment barriers for newcomers through community-collaborative art projects inspired by floristry and gardening from a decolonial lens.

In the spirit of community, the exhibition also brings together artistic collaborators who have long-standing relationships and shared research interests with the collective: Anne Campbell, Nicolas Fleming, Reza Nik, Darren Rigo, and Alize Zorlutuna. Through photography, ceramics, florals, and a site-specific garden installation, the artists’ works evoke the memory of the Nanaa family’s garden, courtyard, and home, lost in the Syrian war. A rose gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it offers layered complexities for visitors to consider the colonial history of flowers, the legacy of war on land, the imagined landscape, the displacement of people, and the longing for home.

Opening Reception
Saturday, January 27, 1 – 3 pm
Doris McCarthy Gallery
Free shuttle bus with stops at Doris McCarthy Gallery and Varley Art Gallery departs Bloor/Spadina at 12:30 pm, returning at 5 pm. To register for the bus, email publicart@markham.ca.

Join us to celebrate the opening of A rose gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it at this public reception, including artist remarks at 1:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Artist Talk by Reza Nik
Tuesday, February 6, 1 – 2 pm
Doris McCarthy Gallery

Reza Nik is the founding director of SHEEEP – a licensed architect, artist, and educator based in Toronto. His research is focused on a deeper dialogue between the socio-political nuances of the urban context and playful experimentation. Disrupting the traditional architectural processes and institutions is at the forefront of his pedagogy and practice. Nik’s talk is offered as part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, co-presented by the Studio program, Department of Arts, Culture & Media, U of T Scarborough. Free, drop-in, no registration necessary.

All gallery programs are free and all are welcome. For in-person programs, please see the DMG website for visitor information. Please contact dmg.utsc@utoronto.ca with any accommodation needs and gallery staff will follow up as necessary.


Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4
416.287.7007
dmg.utsc@utoronto.ca
dorismccarthygallery.utoronto.ca

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11 am to 4 pm; Wednesday, 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 11 to 5 pm. Admission is free. Open to the public. The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

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Image description:
Photograph of two large green shrubs in front of a brick apartment building. The shrub on the left is covered in small pink flowers.