falling through our fingers

Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University

Faune Ybarra, Iceberg Stranded in My Bed, 2020-2023, performance series, courtesy of the Artist.

falling through our fingers
Excel Garay, Daze Jefferies, B.G-Osborne, Racquel Rowe, Kelsey Street, Faune Ybarra

3 June – 17 September 2023
Curator: Emily Critch

falling through our fingers is a group exhibition that considers the complexities of preservation and the possibilities of archives. Each of the six contemporary artists included present new work that mediates institutional, personal, and familial collections to engage with intergenerational dialogues, undocumented labour, diasporic histories, historical erasure, grief, and joy. In locating and weaving threads between archival interstices, the exhibition acknowledges the interconnectedness of past, present, and future.

In her work Iceberg Stranded in My Bed, artist Faune Ybarra uses a series of diasporic gestures to engage with a collection of archival photographs taken by Robert Edwards Holloway that are housed in the Digital Archives of Memorial University (Newfoundland). Part of a performance series, this work moves between the island of Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) and Vancouver, where Ybarra currently lives, and invites the audience to consider the movement of bodies in relationship to migration and undocumented histories. In a similar vein, Mi’kmaw artist Kelsey Street thinks through ideas of home, community, memory, and connection in works rooted in ancestral relationships to the lands and waters of Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay of Islands, Newfoundland). In Weaving With You, she undertakes an intergenerational collaboration with her grandmother, Alice Mary Bennett, a Mi’kmaw woman who lived much of her life on Woods Island, a small fishing community in Elmastukwek that was resettled in the 1960s.

Daze Jefferies, resurfacing you torn-together, 2023, nylon hosiery washed ashore in the Bay of Exploits, courtesy of the Artist.

The work of B.G-Osborne is also greatly influenced by matrilineal legacies. In the ongoing series EACH     OTHER, Osborne uses personal family archives, sculpture, and installation to articulate both their grief and the intangible, yet boundless relationship they have with their birth mother, Joan, who passed away in 1995. Matrilineal histories and collaboration are also significant within the artistic practice of Barbadian-born artist Racquel Rowe. In the two-channel video installation Sea Bath, Rowe and her mum are seen sea bathing, a ritual traditionally done by elders in the Bajan community. Moving both independently and in harmony with each other, they emphasize the interconnectedness of land, water, family, and identity throughout the Black Diaspora.

Much like the other artists in this exhibition, Daze Jefferies has a deep connection to the Atlantic. Born and raised in the Bay of Exploits on the northeast coast of rural Ktaqmkuk, her research-based creative practice works with archives, beach wash-up, queer ephemera, oral histories, sound, poetry, sculpture, theory, performance, and illustration to engage with the ocean as a body, a transformative entity, and an archival relation. Equally interested in narratives carried by the sea, Excel Garay investigates the emergence of ultramarine blue, both as a colour that alludes to the vastness of water, space, and the unknown, and as a commodity purveyed via colonial trade routes. Her work thus addresses both the history of extraction and the unrecorded and unarchived histories of the larger diaspora it creates.

We would like to acknowledge that the Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University, is located within the traditional territory of Mi’kma’ki, the unceded ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq. Our relationship and our privilege to live on this territory was agreed upon in the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1725 to 1752. Because of this treaty relationship, it is to be acknowledged that we are all Treaty People and have a responsibility to respect this territory.

Owens Art Gallery
Mount Allison University
61 York Street Sackville, NB, E4L 1E1 • 506-364-2574
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Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Admission is Free

The Owens is partially accessible. The stairs from the entrance nearest the University Chapel have a handrail. There is also ramp access at this entrance, however, the ramp is steep. The stairs to the entrance off York Street have a handrail, but no ramp, and are covered with temporary wood treads. The main floor of the Owens is wheelchair accessible. Our second-floor gallery and gendered bathrooms are located in the basement and are not accessible. Two flights of stairs lead to each of these floors. LED lights are used throughout the building. The Owens welcomes guide dogs and other service animals. The closest accessible parking spaces are located on York Street across from the Owens. For detailed information on venue access, please visit our Accessibility page.

COVID-19 Information
The Mount Allison University campus continues to have COVID-19 health and safety measures in place. During your visit at the Owens Art Gallery:

  • Masks are welcome
  • Free disposable masks are available
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the gallery
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and plan your visit for another time

If you would like to visit the Owens at a quieter time, or when all staff and visitors are masked, private visits can be arranged from 9:00-10:00 am on weekdays.

If you have any questions about your visit, please email owens@mta.ca or call (506) 364-2574.