Arpita Shah, Untitled, 2020


April 6 – June 4, 2023
Artist Reception: April 14, 7:00 pm
This is a family-friendly event and young children are welcome.
Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, ON

The often-invisible work of caregiving is constant and undervalued. Tether explores narratives of motherhood and correlated themes, including artwork by April Hickox, Natasha Lan, Jennifer Long, Kelly O’Brien, Theola Ross, Arpita Shah, and Jessica Wohl. This group brings together parents of toddlers, children with disabilities, and school-aged youth, who have actively explored their personal experiences of being or becoming a parent within their practice. From sewing to filmmaking and photography, this collection of artworks ranges from works produced three decades ago to the current moment. Interweaving themes relating to the experience of time, visibility, intimacy and memory, these artists examine their relationships with parenting and their larger connection to the world in which we live.

Jessica Wohl will lead a workshop on visible mending with patches at the Thames Art Gallery on April 15 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Join in this family-friendly event as we learn patching and stitching techniques to mend tattered garments with visible needlework. Bring your own loved or worn garment. Light refreshments, activities and care for accompanying children is available. Space is limited, and registration is required. Register for Visible Mending with Patches

Jessica Wohl, Family Portrait, 2019. Found fabric, pants, shirts, bedsheets, pillowcases, spandex. Machine piecing, needle-turn appliqué, raw-edge appliqué, machine quilting, hand quilting and embroidery. 79” x 72”

About the Artists

April Hickox is a Canadian lens-based artist, teacher and independent curator who lives on the Toronto Islands. Over the course of 37 years, April has mined the distinctions between personal and public sites through film, video, photography and installation.

Natasha Lan is an emerging curator and artist based in Toronto. She is Hakka-Chinese-Mauritian, born in London, UK and raised in Canada. An image- and fiber-based artist, her work explores themes of memory, emotional endurance, identity and belonging.

Jennifer Long is a Canadian artist, educator, curator, and arts administrator. Her art practice draws inspiration from the quiet moments and rituals of everyday life to explore the complexities of women’s experiences.

Kelly O’Brien is a mother and independent filmmaker living in Toronto. Her short diary films have screened internationally and online for NY Times Op-Docs. Her live documentary performance/family slideshow, Postings From Home, has been featured at documentary festivals throughout Canada and is currently being adapted into a feature film.

Theola Ross (2S) is originally from Pimichikamak Cree Nation. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2018 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in 2000. Theola is a filmmaker and a Senior Program and Policy Analyst within the Child and Youth Death Review and Analysis at the Office of the Chief Coroner with the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Arpita Shah (b. 1983, Ahmedabad, India) is a photographic artist based between Eastbourne and Edinburgh, UK. She works in photography and film, exploring the intersections of culture and identity. Shah spent an earlier part of her life living between India, Ireland and the Middle East before settling in the UK. This migratory experience is reflected in her practice, which often focuses on the notion of home, belonging and shifting cultural identities.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jessica Wohl received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA from the University of Georgia. Originally trained as an illustrator with specialization in art history, her studio practice now includes quilting, collage, embroidery, drawing and painting.

Theola Ross (Director), film still from êmîcêtôsêt – Many Bloodlines, (2020), 11 min. Alex Fisher-Baily (Producer), Lucius Dechausay (Editor), Alexandre Nour Desjardins (Cinematography), Anthony Wallace (Sound)

About the Thames Art Gallery

The Thames Art Gallery is dedicated to promoting the understanding, appreciation, conservation, and enjoyment of the visual arts. The gallery places emphasis on arts education programming and multidisciplinary exhibitions that encourages engagement and fosters critical dialogues. Public programs, curatorial research, collecting, and audience development are all considered inherent components of the organization’s activities.

We acknowledge that the Thames Art Gallery is on the lands of the Anishinaabeg Nation. This is the traditional land of the Three Fires Confederacy: the Odawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe. We also recognize that this land is now home to the Delaware Nation. This land was settled through the McKee Purchase Treaty of 1790 and we, as beneficiaries of that treaty, must recognize our responsibilities including our collective responsibilities to the land and water.

The Thames Art Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Thursdays from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

For further information or touring enquiries, please contact: Phil Vanderwall at philv@chatham-kent.ca

Thames Art Gallery
75 William Street North, Chatham, ON N7M 4L4
226 312 2023 ext 4425

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