The Robert McLaughlin Gallery: Spring 2022 Exhibitions

Tim Whiten, Last Night, Night Before, textiles, cast iron, magnet, 1997. Gift of the artist, 2019.

Elemental: Oceanic

Curated by: Leila Timmins
April 09 – August 28, 2022

Developed in partnership with the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Art Gallery of York University, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and McMaster Museum of Art.

Tim Whiten’s broad and prolific creative practice reflects a life devoted to pursuing the nature of consciousness and the human condition. Drawing from over fifty years of production, this exhibition features sculptures and works on paper from the early 1970s to the present, representing material explorations of ritual, embodiment, ancestral knowledge, and transcendence. His work acts as a living question, attempting to reveal what cannot be seen and uniting the physical with the divine.

Elemental is part of an expanded, multi-venue retrospective and collaborative publication celebrating Tim Whiten’s career, developed in partnership between the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Art Gallery of York University, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and McMaster Museum of Art from 2022 to 2023. This series of exhibitions are thematically united by the classical elements of air, water, earth, and fire – referencing Whiten’s interest in alchemical practices. Elemental: Oceanic focuses on the element water and its associations with emotions, intuition, imagination, and the infinite. The oceanic has also been a concept used by mystics and theologians to describe the feeling of the eternal, and the ineffable experiences of unity and oneness between all beings. In this exhibition, Whiten’s drawings and sculptural works reflect this energy through a refined pallet of natural materials—leather, bone, glass, iron, graphite and cloth—which become charged with connotative potential. Referencing the cyclical nature of life, the work is a reminder that to live with the remembrance of death is to live fully and expansively.

Tim Whiten was born in Inkster, Michigan in 1941. In 1964, he received a B.S. from Central Michigan University, College of Applied Arts and Science, and in 1966 completed his M.F.A. at the University of Oregon, School of Architecture and Allied Arts. After immigrating to Canada in 1968, he taught in the Department of Visual Arts at York University for 39 years. An award-winning educator, he was also Chair of the University’s Department of Visual Arts where he is currently Professor Emeritus. Since 1962, he has had work presented in exhibitions throughout North America and internationally and it is included in numerous private, public, and corporate collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (both the de Young and the Legion of Honor/ Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts). Based in Toronto, Tim Whiten is represented by Olga Korper Gallery.

Portrait of Kezia Amoako for the Project HUE x RMG: Honouring Unapologetic Expression, 2022. Courtesy of WOCDC.

HUE x RMG: Honouring Unapologetic Expression

An exhibition by the Womxn of Colour Durham Collective

March 19 – May 8, 2022

HUE x RMG: Honouring Unapologetic Expression is an exhibition of photography by the WOCDC, a youth-led organization in Durham Region that is run by, for, and with Black, Indigenous, and other self-identified Womxn of Colour (BIWoC).

This exhibition is built around the organization’s three core pillars: connect, create, and cultivate. WOCDC recruited eight racialized womxn and non-binary folks from Durham Region to participate in a photoshoot at the RMG. In small groups, Kezia Amoako, Anna Balagtas, Stephanie Hu, Ashleigh Hutchinson, Reisha Lyon, Melanie McFarlane, Melissa Murray, and Kay Williams were invited to connect with one another and the WOCDC team through storytelling. They had conversations about racism, identity, love, and resistance forged through both positive and negative experiences. Audio from those sessions plays on a loop in the exhibition and excerpts appear on extended labels that accompany the photo installations. Each story is illustrated with a portrait and a snapshot of the urban environment that provides contextual information about the location, theme, or content of participant’s story.

Kezia Amoako, one of the eight participants, has lived in Durham for almost fifteen years and has grown to love and create community here. Throughout her professional and personal life, she has created Black-only community spaces that have been enjoyed by over 100 beautiful BIWoC. She plans to live in Durham for the rest of her life and to continue creating spaces where BIWoC communities feel safe, validated, and joyful.

By bringing attention to the joy and beauty of intersectional identities – in addition to expressing the ways racism has affected the participants’ interactions in public spaces – this exhibition invites you to imagine what could be possible if more spaces were cultivated for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPoC ) collaboration in Durham Region and beyond.

The WOCDC and the RMG would like to thank Kezia Amoako, Anna Balagtas, Stephanie Hu, Ashleigh Hutchinson, Reisha Lyon, Melanie McFarlane, Melissa Murray, and Kay Williams for sharing their stories and participating in this project.

We would also like to thank Smokestack for their generous sponsorship of this exhibition.

Land Acknowledgement

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is in the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. This land has been the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg since 1700; before that time, it was stewarded by various communities belonging to the Haudenosaunee and Wendat confederacies. It is covered under the Williams Treaties and the Dish with One Spoon Wampum.

This area continues to be home to many Indigenous people from across Mishiike Minisi. We recognize the sovereignty of all Indigenous nations and are grateful for the opportunity to learn, live, and work on this land.

We acknowledge that the RMG is in treaty land, and respect our collective responsibility to protect and nurture the land. We also recognize the continuing impacts of colonialism and our responsibilities to redress the ways this has helped shape our organization. We are committed to working to address structural inequities and to centering Indigenous voices in the gallery.

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is an accessible venue. To learn more or request accommodations click here.

For more information or for any questions, please contact Ingrid Forster, Manager of Communications + Digital Engagement at


The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
72 Queen Street, Civic Centre, Oshawa, Ontario
905 576 3000 | |

Follow Us!