Opening reception for Shaun Fernandes: Getting The Most From Your Hammer


Shaun Fernandes, Minnows, 2019, chromogenic print. Courtesy of the artist

Opening reception for Shaun Fernandes: Getting The Most From Your Hammer at the Ryerson Image Centre

Wednesday, March 4, 6–8 pm

In Getting The Most From Your Hammer, on view in the RIC Student Gallery from March 4–April 5, Shaun Fernandes presents a series of staged photographs and videos that examine working-class stereotypes of masculinity. Growing up in a rural town, Fernandes saw the tools and materials of adult work as objects for boyhood play—building forts from scrap drywall and steel sheeting or shooting pellets at stacked tin cans. These images embrace humour in order to highlight the absurd and often ritualistic actions performed during the path to maturity.

Artist Bio
Shaun Fernandes is a Toronto-based artist holding a BFA in Photography Studies from Ryerson University. His practice combines performative photographs, sculpture, and object studies to form quasi-documentary, long-term projects dealing with identity and place.

The RIC Student Gallery
The Student Gallery showcases the art and curatorial practices of Ryerson University’s current undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni from all disciplines. Rigorous yet inclusive, the program engages audiences with important issues through group or solo exhibitions of contemporary art and historical lens-based media. Presenting six exhibitions per year, the Student Gallery provides valuable, professional experience in the curation and display of artwork. The exhibitions are selected annually, following a call for submissions, by a committee comprised of staff members from the RIC, along with students and faculty members from the School of Image Arts.


Shaun Fernandes, Flame Boy, 2019, inkjet print on vinyl. Courtesy of the artist


A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic
Guest Curator: David Campany

A Handful of Dust features a selection of modern and contemporary images from the last 100 years, focusing on the visual representation of dust in photography, both as an element of the everyday and as poetic allegory. Demonstrating photography’s ability to highlight quotidian details of life through the unlikeliest imagery, the exhibition touches on a wide range of subjects, including aerial reconnaissance, the American dustbowl, Mussolini’s final car journey, and the wars in Iraq. A Handful of Dust showcases photographic works by renowned artists Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Walker Evans, Sophie Ristelhueber, Xavier Ribas, Jeff Wall, and many others, alongside anonymous press photographs, postcards, magazine spreads, and films.

Extending the Frame: 40 Years of Gallery TPW

Extending the Frame: 40 Years of Gallery TPW celebrates 40 years of exhibitions and programs at Gallery TPW, the artist-run centre founded in 1977 as a platform for contemporary photography in Toronto. Drawing on archival materials from the Art Gallery of Ontario and artworks from the collection of the Ryerson Image Centre, the exhibition and accompanying publication highlight the gallery’s role in advocating for the cultural recognition of the medium in Canada.

Nir Evron: A Free Moment
Guest Curator: Brian Sholis

Israeli artist Nir Evron’s film A Free Moment (2011) draws together political history and formal exploration. Shot in the abandoned shell of the never-completed Jordanian Summer Palace in East Jerusalem, this four-minute film reveals a dizzying perspective on the structure’s concrete bulk and the city sprawling beneath it. Though silent and restrained, A Free Moment suggests that long-ago political conflicts can have persistent influence, disorienting lives and altering the meaning of public spaces far into the future.


Thursday, March 12, 12 pm
Labour Photographs in the Black Star Collection
Noon Time Collection Talk with Vincenzo Pietropaolo
Peter Higdon Research Centre, 122 Bond Street (RIC–241)

Wednesday, March 18, 6 pm
Exhibition Tour of A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic with Paul Roth

Wednesday, March 25, 7 pm
Tanenbaum Lecture: Sophie Ristelhueber in conversation with Marc Mayer
Location TBA (check website for details)

Wednesday, April 1, 7 pm
Curators in Conversation: David Campany with Sara Knelman

Thursday, April 2, 12 pm
Unfinished Business: Collecting Canadian Photography
Noon Time Collection Talk with Christopher Varley and Paul Roth
Peter Higdon Research Centre, 122 Bond Street (RIC–241)

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre (33 Gould Street) unless otherwise noted.

Ryerson Image Centre
33 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Free exhibition tours daily at 2:30 pm
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Media Contact
Kristen Dobbin, Ryerson Image Centre, / T+416 979 5000 x7032