UW Fine Arts MFA Thesis Three: Brent Garbett + CAFKA23: Shirin Fahimi

University of Waterloo Art Gallery

June 8 – July 22, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday June 8, 5-8 pm

Brent Garbett
New Day. New Painting.

Wherever I am, I see paintings. My approach is observational, a way of being in my body and in the landscape. It is not only about what I see, but also how it feels, and how I move within it. New Day. New Painting. explores my day-to-day life and the landscapes that have surrounded me as a graduate student. The exhibition is organized into four groups: my home, the campus, my research trip to Charleston, South Carolina, and the walk to my car—an experience that was interrupted when a stand of trees that seemed almost familial were unexpectantly cut down.

Brent Garbett was born in Toronto and raised in Scarborough, Puslinch, and Guelph, Ontario. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University in Halifax and is currently completing his MFA at the University of Waterloo. He is the recipient of the Keith and Win Shantz International Scholarship and has work in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Guelph.

Shirin Fahimi
II0I  I0I0 (Umm al Raml tracing the dots)

II0I  I0I0 (Umm al Raml tracing the dots) is an immersive single-channel video installation that renders visible the absence of female prophets within Islamic literature and explores its challenges. This work juxtaposes the spiritual journey of four Iranian women practicing mysticism in Toronto against a mesmerizing digital landscape generated through the divination method known as the science of sand. The driving question for this project, “Where are the female prophets?” serves as the catalyst for generating narratives. By reviving the 7th-century Islamic method of divination, the science of sand, this project builds on narrative possibilities generated through divination. It decolonizes the linear narration of time by blurring the line between present, past and future. This research is its own living archive, holding the interviewees’ stories, dreams and prophecies.

Shirin Fahimi is a digital media artist based in Ontario, born in Iran. She investigates the colonial dichotomies of rationalism and superstition, as well as the ways in which women negotiate visibility in the political and celestial realms. Her research is influenced by Islamic mysticism and magic in Iranian society and diasporic communities. She uses divination as a form of archiving, storing knowledge, making accessible visible and invisible worlds, and documenting the past, present and future.

Shirin Fahimi is presented in partnership with CAFKA23: Stay With Me

University of Waterloo Art Gallery
East Campus Hall, Room 1239
519.888.4567 ext. 33575

Ivan Jurakic, Director/Curator
519.888.4567 ext. 46741

Wednesday to Saturday 12-5 pm
Or by appointment

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Automated doors available at Fine Arts entrance
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263 Phillip Street, Waterloo
East Campus Hall (ECH) is located adjacent to Engineering 6 (E6)
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University of Waterloo Art Gallery
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Image credits and descriptions:
1) Brent Garbett, Stumps (installation detail), 2023, oil on panel, various dimensions. Image courtesy the artist. Description: Multiple oil paintings of tree stumps are displayed hung on a wall salon-style.
2) Shirin Fahimi, II0I  I0I0 (Umm al Raml tracing the dots), 2023, digital video. Image courtesy the artist. Description: An image of the artist’s digital avatar amidst a sea of sand surrounded by floating graphics depicting Arabic binary code.