Future of Work: Letters from the Land and Water

at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre

LOKI, Future of Work design, 2022

Future of Work: Letters from the Land and Water

Alvin Luong
Audie Murray
Jagdeep Raina
Sindhu Thirumalaisamy

Curated by Simranpreet Anand and Srimoyee Mitra

August 31 – December 16, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday September 9, 7 – 9pm.

The Future of Work is a three-part exhibition series formed as sites of continual research on the labour movements, essential work, equity, and mobility. In collaboration with the Art Gallery of Burlington, the exhibitions are a process to examine how the pandemic has affected labour markets and quality of life. The curatorial collective of Suzanne Carte, Srimoyee Mitra, Simranpreet Anand, and Adrienne Huard have created three distinct platforms for conversations surrounding precarious labour, parallel economies, and labour futurisms.

At WAHC, The Future of Work: Letters from the Land and Water brings together works by Alvin Luong, Audie Murray, Jagdeep Raina and Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, and probes the intersections between material culture, the natural environment, and economies that surround them. Their methodologies range between painting, video, sculpture, and embroidery. Each navigates the reality of unstable living and working conditions that reveals the precarity of labour that has been propelled by global capitalism with local repercussions and fallout.

The culture of violence and volatility embedded in precarious work is echoed by the artists in the following ways: Thirumalaisamy’s experimental film The Lake and the Lake exposes the discrepancies between Bangalore’s technology boom-propelled luxury culture and the lives of those who live beyond the walls of the towering “Silicon Valley of India”. Raina’s archival references lay bare the working conditions that Punjabi farmers have endured in both Punjab and Canada in the age of mechanised farming. Both Raina and Murray’s intricate use of handiwork reflects the reclamation of practices that include beadwork, phulkari and dhurrie that have been interrupted through colonial industrial violence. Murray’s work responds to the capitalist structure that has monetized Indigenous arts and crafts; her beading of gloves and other everyday objects are an act of reclamation and resistance. These haptic qualities continue to resonate throughout Luong’s work with a hand-tied life vest made of buoyant meatballs. Luong’s work invokes the freighters along the South China Sea and confronts us with the entangled and complex histories of food, migration and labour.


PROGRAMS

Please click on the program titles for more information on each program.

Floetry: a workshop for water and words
Saturday September 10
10am – 12pm
Facilitated by Danielle Boissoneau
in person, all welcome

This interactive workshop is designed to reflect the beauty of our natural world while doing the work of identifying our responsibilities to protect these wonders. Using words, we’ll flow for the water. We’ll use art as a method of reclamation and community building. After a short 15 minute walk to the Hamilton Harbour we will sit and determine how to integrate artistic practice with action towards sustainable futures. We’ll practice how to be a good ancestor.

Contemporary Art Bus Tour
Saturday September 24
1pm – 4:40pm
In person, pre-registration required HERE

Join us for a FREE bus tour making stops at Hamilton Artists’ Inc., The Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, The McMaster Museum of Art, and the Art Gallery of Burlington. Please register only if you plan on using our bus service. Seating is limited. Travel and admission is free.

Itinerary:
1 – 1:40: Hamilton Artists Inc.
1:45 – 2:25: Workers Arts and Heritage Centre
2:40 – 3:20: McMaster Museum of Art
3:40 – 4:20: Art Gallery of Burlington
4:40: Return to Hamilton Artists Inc.

Self Care Day for Workers and Organizers
Saturday December 3
1 – 4:15pm
Pre-registration required HERE

Join us for a FREE self-care day designed for workers and organizers. The day will begin with a guided tour of our Main Gallery exhibition followed by an interactive art activity led by Sonali Menezes. The day will finish with a restorative yoga practice led by Indu Vashist.


Azaadi Intertwined (2020), Jagdeep Raina. Image courtesy of the artist and Cooper Cole, Toronto.

ABOUT

Simranpreet Anand is an artist, curator, and cultural worker creating and working on the unceded territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo peoples (Surrey). She is starting at the Stamps School of Art and Design as an MFA student.

Alvin Luong works with stories of human migration, land, and dialogues from diasporic working class communities to create artworks that reflect upon historical development and its intimate effects on the lives of people.

Srimoyee Mitra is a curator and writer whose work is invested in building empathy and mutual respect by bringing together meaningful and diverse works of art and design. She is currently the Director at University of Michigan’s Stamps Gallery in Ann Arbor.

Audie Murray is a relative, dreamer, skin-stitcher and Michif visual artist based in Oskana kâ-asastêki (Regina, Saskatchewan; Treaty 4 territory). Her practice is informed by the process of making and visiting to explore themes of contemporary culture, embodied experiences and lived dualities.

Sindhu Thirumalaisamy is an artist and filmmaker whose work centres (un)common spaces and the possibilities for speech and action with/in them. She has worked in relation to hospitals, parks, streets, kitchens, temples, mosques, lakes and roadsides—spaces that hold potential for collective resistance and care.


WAHC wishes to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Hamilton, the Province of Ontario, CUPE, the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, the Canada Council for the Arts, OSSTF and ONA for their support of our exhibitions and ancillary programs.

For more information, please contact Sonali Menezes at (905) 522-3003 ex. 29 or sonali@wahc-museum.ca

51 Stuart Street | Hamilton, Ontario | (905) 522-3003
Open Wednesday to Friday 10 am – 4 pm and Saturdays 12 pm – 4 pm

Our building is physically accessible.
www.wahc-museum.ca

Twitter: @WAHC
Facebook: WorkersArtsandHeritageCentre
Instagram: @workersartsandheritage