Last Chance to visit AGB’s How to Read a Vessel exhibition + upcoming programming


Tamyka Bullen, Fly Higher, video still, 2021

How to Read a Vessel is an assembly of programs and projects by artists and curators Tara Bursey, Suzanne Carte, Ness Lee, Su-Ying Lee, Myung-Sun Kim, Ivy Knight, and Christine Saly-Chapman which empties out the AGB’s vault of contemporary Canadian ceramics to openly discuss the challenges and excitement of caring for and examining this object-based, craft-forward permanent collection, while continuing to develop a new narrative that is critical of institutional holdings. This non-linear, queer exhibition explores the potential of the vessel as language, lineage, containment, nourishment, and archive. Within it, art objects become metaphors to discuss the colonial constructs of collections and their histories.

The exhibition closes with a matinee performance of Fly Higher by Tamyka Bullen on Saturday January 8 from 3– 4pm. This ASL poetry and video performance uses the stage of a taxi ride in Guyana as a window into viewing how oppressive systems affect all of us, explaining the discrimination against Deaf people that stems from policies that favor elites such as hearing folks. It will be performed for an audience at the gallery and streamed live on Instagram and Facebook.

On Thursday, January 6 @ 2:00-3:30 pm (EST) Vancouver-based artist Naoko Fukumaru hosts a Kintsugi presentation where she discusses embracing weakness and fragility, working with broken pottery to create new works, and understanding the evolutionary life of ceramics. In conjunction with How to Read a Vessel, this talk explores Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending pottery with a special tree sap dusted with gold powder to highlight restorations. The talk addresses the differences between Western and Japanese Kintsugi practices, as well as their origins, influences, materials, and processes.

Registration is required for all education and public programs, visit to reserve your spot.


Ivy Knight, Jugs & Cans, 2021. Bottle and yarn. Courtesy of the artist. Designed by Paul Cavanaugh.

Ivy Knight’s vessel exhibition, Jugs & Cans: A Reaping, is extended to January 22! This collection of over 150 empty vessels; jugs, cans, bottles, and boxes have been gathered from women in food across Canada and the United States and lovingly enrobed in cozy, crocheted vestments containing the stories and struggles of the cooks, bakers, food writers, restaurateurs, and servers who opened, emptied, and used them.


Erdem Taşdelen, The Characters: Act I (installation view), The Bows (formerly Untitled Art Society), presented in partnership with EMMEDIA, 2019. Courtesy the artist and The Bows. Photo: Katy Whitt.

On January 21st AGB opens The Characters: Act III by Erdem Taşdelen, the final act of a three-part audio dramaturgy and dystopian reflection. Based on the narratives of 30 stock characters and performed by voice actors from scripts developed by the artist, these fictional characters are recognizable archetypes representing a specific set of behaviours or thoughts. Their defining traits are borrowed from the work of Theophrastus, a Greek author of the 4th century BCE, who produced the first known set of character sketches in history, describing types of people such as “The Pennypincher,” “The Faultfinder,” and “The Grouch.” Peculiarly, all these 30 types, together titled The Characters, depict negative traits. Some scholars have speculated that a supplementary volume comprising positive types must also have existed, or at least been planned. In the absence of these, however, Taşdelen’s reading takes on a comical and poignant quality through its rather bleak representation of human nature.

Curated by Natasha Chaykowski, The Characters first two acts were presented in Calgary by The Bows (formerly Untitled Art Society) in partnership with EMMEDIA (2019) and in Saskatoon at AKA Artist-Run (2020).

The Characters is supported by a chorus of compelling camps, studios and outreach programs exploring character and narrative through craft, comics, and digital art. Visit our website for more information, and to learn how to take part. Registration is required for all public programs, visit to learn more.

How to Read a Vessel has been generously supported by Susan Busby, Louise Cooke, Four Corners Group, Jane Depraitere, Danyliw & Mann, Pam Lavery and Robert Redhead, and The Schreibers.

The AGB is supported by the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts. The AGB Community Garden is funded by the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative. Educational outreach programming is presented in partnership with Reach Out Centre for Kids ROCK Hub, Our Community Cares, and Positive Space Network (PSN), Burlington and is generously sponsored by the Halton Region Community Investment Fund.

The AGB and Tamyka Bullen would like to thank Thurga Kanagasekarampillai, Marcia Adolphe Martins, and Alyssa Bistonath.

Erdem Taşdelen would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Colleagues in the media are invited to connect with:
Laura Buisman, Marketing Coordinator
905-632-7796, ext.304
Exhibition guided tours available upon request

The AGB will be closed December 24, 2021 – January 3, 2022
1333 Lakeshore Road Burlington, ON L7S 1A9
AGB is accessible.