Sara Angelucci and Winnie Truong at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham

Sara Angelucci: Undergrowth

January 21 to April 30, 2023
Co-presented by the Art Gallery of Sudbury, the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Mississauga
Curated by Shannon Anderson

Sara Angelucci transforms found photographs and creates images exposing the cultural and historical conditions outside the image frame, bringing attention to the social forces that generate the language of photography. Undergrowth brings together several bodies of work produced over the last decade that examine the ways in which photographic practices have contributed to the divide between humans and nature. This direction found its impetus in her series Aviary (2013), which morphs extinct and endangered birds with nineteenth-century carte-de-visite portraits to reveal the colonizing role the camera has played in capturing animals for consumption. This focus continues across an expansive body of work that culminates in Nocturnal Botanical Ontario (2019‚Äďongoing) in which images of entwined native, introduced, and invasive plants made with a digital scanner consider the history of botanical photography through the study of species that exist in the artist‚Äôs immediate proximity. These complex botanical compositions point to the impacts of settler colonialism and global trade on our ecology. Through acts of empathy, embodiment, and envisioning, Angelucci‚Äôs practice seeks to examine and reconcile our relationship with the natural world.

Field Notes

January 21, 2023 to June, 2023
Curated by Anik Glaude

Field Notes brings together historical sketches by F. H. Varley with contemporary animation and drawings by Winnie Truong. Although their bodies of work and approaches to art making are vastly different, both artists share a desire to engage with the natural world.

The artworks presented in this exhibition derive from personal observations and intimate impressions of nature, and range from concise sketches of alder trees and rose stems, to colourful renderings of otherworldly flora. Both artists used pencil and paper to express their interpretation of nature, whether to challenge existing ways of studying and understanding it, or simply to celebrate its beauty.

Quiet Resistance, Reclaiming Space

Ongoing to April 28, 2023
Curated by Anik Glaude

A third-generation Chinese Canadian, Don Kwan turns to his own experiences and challenges as a gay, East Asian artist in order to ground himself in broader conversations about identity, representations, and intergenerational memory-making in the diaspora. Quiet Resistance, Reclaiming Space is a large scale photographic mural consisting of a series of photographs taken in a range of Canadian landscapes, each framed by a traditional Chinese lantern panel. By inserting himself into these environments, Kwan seeks to reclaim space and dismantle narratives of racism and homophobia.

Associated Programs

Saturday, January 21, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Meet the artists; enjoy curator talks, gallery tours, and a hands-on activity for all ages at the opening reception of the Varley Art Gallery’s 2023 winter exhibitions.

Lunch and Learn

These virtual monthly artist talks provide our community members with the opportunity to learn about current and future exhibitions, as well as hear about ongoing curatorial research happening at the gallery. This program also supports emerging and established artists by providing them with a forum in which to present their work. We would like to thank the Varley-McKay Art Foundation of Markham for their ongoing support of our Lunch and Learn speaker series.

Sara Angelucci
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
12:30 to 1:30 PM
Presented on Zoom, Registration is required

Join artist Sara Angelucci and curator Shannon Anderson in conversation about the exhibition Undergrowth, a ten-year survey of Angelucci’s work in photography, video, and sculpture at the Varley Art Gallery.

Winnie Truong
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
12:30 to 1:30 PM
Presented on Zoom, Registration is required

Toronto-based artist Winne Truong sheds light on the Varley Art Gallery’s current exhibition Field Notes, which features sketches by F. H. Varley from the gallery’s permanent collection, and contemporary works by the artist. Winnie will reflect on some parallels between her work and those in the collection, touching on the labour of drawing and the creation of botanical forms from both observation and imagination. She will also examine the process of creating Meadow II, a large scale cut-paper wall installation and The Trade, a recent stop motion animation.

About the Varley Art Gallery of Markham

The Varley Art Gallery of Markham is a vital cultural hub for artists and diverse communities. A municipal gallery, we create critical conversations about Canadian art and society. We inspire local and national audiences to engage with art through outstanding exhibitions and rich public and educational programs relevant to the communities we serve. We support artists from York region and seek to broaden access to the arts for diverse artists and cultural groups. We also share and celebrate the life and work of F.H. Varley, a founding member of the Group of Seven.

The Varley Art Gallery is situated on the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe. We are committed to reconciliation, partnership and enhanced understanding.

Varley Art Gallery of Markham
216 Main Street Unionville, Markham, ON, L3R 2H1
905.477.7000 ext. 3261 |

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The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday, and Sunday, 12 PM to 4PM and on Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM

Admission is free. Our venue is accessible, with automatic door openers to enter the building and exhibition spaces. One accessible washroom is available.

For more information or questions, please contact:
Anik Glaude, Curator

Image credits: [1] Sara Angelucci, Nocturnal Botanical Ontario, July 25, 2021 ‚Äď Bee Balm, Thimble Weed, St. John‚Äôs Wort, Mallow, Water Iris, Inkjet print, 85.3 cm x 118.8 cm. Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery. [2] Winnie Truong, Like Forms with Undefined Ambitions, 2021, coloured pencils and cut paper collage, 104.8 cm x 74.93 cm. Courtesy of the artist and VivianeArt Gallery. [3] Installation view, Don Kwan, Quiet Resistance, Reclaiming Space, Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 2022. Photo: Louis Li