Sur Gallery opens Spring 2024 with Rooted Knots/Blended Threads


May 2 – July 6, 2024

Opening Reception:
Thursday, May 2, 7 – 9pm, In-person
Register here.

Artist Talk: Claudia Gutiérrez, Ruth Mora Izturriaga, and Ixchel Suarez
Thursday, May 9, 7pm – 8pm, Online
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Curator Tour with Tamara Toledo
Saturday, June 8, 2pm – 3pm, In-person
Register here.

About the Exhibition

Mestiza hybrid identities, as Gloria Anzaldúa argues, are multilayered. They stretch in all directions, from past to present, vertically and horizontally, chronologically, and spatially. Inspired by this premise, the artists in this exhibition use textiles and threads symbolically and metaphorically referencing ties to ancestral traditions while highlighting transformation as diasporic subjects. Their multidimensional identities are complex as they search for ancestral knowledge and tradition, guiding their artistic journeys. They are rooted, blended, and dyed, they are flexible and multifaceted. This exhibition aims to explore parallel frameworks between the art produced by these women textile artists and the mestiza female body which endures the complexity of racial and patriarchal oppression, forms of invisibility and exclusion, and an imposed coloniality which shapes their position and condition in Canada.

The common thread that ties the artists Claudia Gutiérrez, Ruth Mora Izturriaga, Ixchel Suarez, and Sarabeth Triviño together is their ability to transmit meaning behind the slow-paced methodology of working with textiles, as a space for personal meditation, sharing of traditional knowledge, and the experience of collective healing. They use the act of weaving, stitching, and embroidering, while speaking to contemporary concerns. They expose truth behind pain and failure, offering gestures and the meditative nature of textile work as resistance to the accelerated rhythm of today’s violent world.

Safeguarding, storytelling, and healing are indicative of the resiliency that lies behind the messages of sisterhood and motherhood, ecological protection, and kinship. The artists in this exhibition form alliances through and with the female brown body while their meditative thread work become a source of strength and rootedness.

Curated by Tamara Toledo.

Claudia Gutierrez, An Advent for Always, 2022, wool and acrylic yarn hand embroidered on Belgian linen. Photo by Pat Bolduc.

About the Artists

Sarabeth Triviño is a Chilean-born textile artist living and working in Tio’tia:ke/Montréal. In 2017, she graduated from L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) with a degree in Visual and Media Arts. Her textile artistic practice is inspired by her commitment towards environmental and social issues and is led by her feminist convictions. Her works have been exhibited in several galleries in Montreal and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Concordia University in the Fibres and Material Practices program.

Ruth Mora is an artist and a member of SUMOfc Art Collective. She is an MFA graduate from Pratt Institute (New York) in ‘New Forms’ concentration (non-traditional forms of art) where she received the MFA’s Outstanding Achievement Award and the Pratt Circle Award. Inspired by her condition as an immigrant, recurrent themes in her work include ideas of transformation, change, and adaptation. Mora uses references to nature to symbolize beauty, time, birth, regeneration, and process. Her work aims to bridge her personal preoccupations with collective concerns.

Claudia Gutierrez is an artist, cultural worker, and arts advocate whose practice has been deeply informed by residencies in Canada and Mexico. She has been exhibiting her work in Ontario and Quebec, Canada since 2010 and has completed numerous public art and cultural outreach projects in Ottawa. She was awarded the SAW Prize for New Works in 2020 (Ottawa) and the Juror’s Choice Award at DesignTO in 2022 and 2024 (Toronto). Her work is supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa, and Canadian Heritage.

Originally from Mexico, Ixchel Suarez is an Oakville-based textile and fibre artist with nearly four decades of dedicated practice who completed her post-graduate studies in Contemporary Textiles in Łódź, Poland. Suarez finds her deepest inspirations rooted in nature, integrating Abstract Expressionism with the traditional craft of tapestry. Suarez is influenced by her Mexican cultural identity and the transformative experience as an immigrant in Canada. She is recipient of numerous grants and awards including the 2021 Award of Excellence from Lausanne to Beijing Fibre Art Biennale. Her tapestries have been showcased in various solo and group exhibitions throughout the world, and she is part of private and public collections in Europe and North America.

About the Curator

Tamara Toledo is a curator, scholar, and artist based in Toronto. She is a graduate of OCAD University, with an MFA from York University, and is currently a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture. Her research focuses on hemispheric connections, decolonial methodologies and practices, diasporic histories, and the legacies of the Cold war era in contemporary art. Toledo has been published by ARM Journal, C Magazine, Fuse, Canadian Art, and Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture Journal of the University of California. She has participated in various conferences and symposiums across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Toledo is currently the Director/Curator of Sur Gallery.

Sur Gallery is Toronto’s first gallery space dedicated to the exhibition and critical engagement of contemporary Latin American art and is a project of LACAP.

For information contact:
Facebook @LACAParts
YouTube @lacapcanada

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday to Friday: Noon – 6pm
Saturday: 11pm – 5pm

39 Queens Quay East, Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5E OA5

Sur Gallery acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; Ontario Arts Council; Government of Ontario; Toronto Arts Council; and The City of Toronto through section 37. Sur Gallery also acknowledges its sponsors See Through Web and Hoffworks Productions.