Shedding Heaviness: Julianna A.S., Delali Cofie, Kourtney Jackson

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography

Delali Cofie, In The Garden II, 2023

Shedding Heaviness
Julianna A.S., Delali Cofie, Kourtney Jackson

Exhibition Dates: March 28 – June 1, 2024
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 28, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Shedding Heaviness is an allusive observation on the passage of life, spirituality, the body and our inner self. Through their distinct and divergent approaches to photography, sound and installation, Julianna A.S., Delali Cofie and Kourtney Jackson experiment in describing these etheric, intangible states. The three artists prompt us to consider the in-between and the outer self while also reflecting, embracing and exploring the unknowable.

1616G44 is a platform sharing initiative occurring in two spaces over three seasons, onsite at Gallery 44 and at Studio1616, an emergent Black-owned studio and exhibition space and collaborative endeavour Aaron Jones and Timothy Yanick Hunter.

Kourtney Jackson, heaven’s dew (KING), inkjet print, 2024

In their collaborative project, Studio1616, Aaron Jones and Timothy Yanick Hunter merge their distinct artistic voices, creating a platform that explores the multifaceted aspects of their identities, cultures and experiences. This fusion embodies the essence of their artistic ethos, where they seek to foster meaningful dialogues about identity, culture and societal narratives. Over summer/fall 2024, Gallery 44 will support the presentation of work by Julianna A.S., Delali Cofie and KourtneyJackson in a new micro-gallery space at Studio1616, unfolding from Shedding Heaviness.

For more information read carry as you rise, an essay by guest writer Lillian O’Brien Davis.

1616G44 is supported by Threading Frequencies, a partnership project with OCAD University supported by SSHRC, led by Immony Mèn and Suzanne Morrissette.

Images (left to right): Julianna A.S., untitled (RAMS) and Can you feel what I hear?, 2024

Julianna A.S. is an Afro-Caribbean woman working at the intersection of art and scientific research. Her work reimagines the practice of art making and uses woodwork, photography and curriculum-based interventions to explore intuitive cognition, physics and cultural imprint. Through her work, she invites viewers to question and engage with the intricate connections between art, science, and the human experience.

Delali Cofie is a Ghanaian-Nigerian photographer currently living in Toronto, Canada. Through storytelling he engages in multiple genres of photography such as fine art, documentary, and fashion. His personal work presents subtle beauty whilst exploring themes of family, self-formation and community. Frequently creating work between his native city Accra and current city Toronto, his work tells a tale of two cities, linked by a diasporic thread. His work has been exhibited in galleries across Ontario, namely Gallery 44 (2021) and Gallery 101 (2022). He was featured in legendary Ghanaian photographer James Barnor’s exhibition catalogue at the Arles Photography Festival (2022). Delali had his first solo exhibition, A Place of Ours, included in the CONTACT Photography festival in Toronto (2022) and created commissioned work for the Royal Bank of Canada. He is currently completing a BFA in Photography at OCAD University.

Kourtney Jackson is a Toronto-based filmmaker and lens-based artist. Her artistic practice employs hybridized and experimental forms of storytelling that permeate interiorities of Black queer womanhood. In lieu of “representation” as a means for legibility, her work endeavours toward a repatriation of the self through somatic, spiritual, and ecological sensibilities. Her award-winning films have screened locally and internationally at festivals including TIFF Next Wave (Toronto), BlackStar Film Festival (Philadelphia), Sundance Film Festival, Ignite x Adobe (Utah), and the Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal (Montréal).

Aaron Jones holds a BFA in Photography from OCAD University and he is represented by Zalucky Contemporary. His professional practice is interdisciplinary, involving photography, videography, collage, sculpture, drawing, installation and curation. He has collaborated with artists, galleries, universities and libraries, including the Toronto Public Library, Art Gallery of Ontario and Massey College. Literally and digitally, Jones weaves together diverse materials from archives, including books, magazines, newspapers and personal photos, to construct captivating characters and alternate realities. Embracing the possibilities of world-building and abstraction, his creations often centre on nature, embodying themes seemingly bizarre and peaceful. Infused with elements of surrealism and Black-Futurist ideals, Jones’s art bounces between technocracy and spirituality, offering a reflective exploration of humanity’s relationship with both the tangible and the ethereal.

Timothy Yanick Hunter is an artist and curator based in Toronto. Hunter holds a BA from the University of Toronto and has been an artist in residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario and PADA Studios in Barreiro, Portugal. Hunter employs methods and strategies of bricolage, archival exploration, reference, citation, remix and rearrangement within his practice. His approach alternates between exploratory and didactic, with a focus on the political, cultural and social richness of the Black diaspora. Hunter’s work often delves into speculative narratives at the intersections of physical space, digital space and the intangible.

Hunter was longlisted for the Sobey Art Award (2022) and has exhibited nationally and internationally at Cooper Cole (2022), Bamako Encounters – African Biennale of Photography, Bamako (2022), Toronto Biennial of Art (2022), Gallery 44 (2021), A Space Gallery (2020), Art Gallery of Guelph (2019) and PADA Studios, Barreiro (2019) among others.

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Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is an artist-run centre committed to supporting diverse approaches to photographic and image-based practices through exhibitions, education programs and facilitating artistic production. Gallery 44 provides space and context for meaningful dialogue between artists and publics. Together, we offer an entry point to explore the artistic, cultural, historic, social and political implications of the image in our ever-expanding visual world.

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