UW Fine Arts MFA Thesis Two: Ashley Beerdat | Charlie Star

University of Waterloo Art Gallery

May 16 – June 1, 2024
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 16, 5-8 pm

Ashley Beerdat
Becoming the Poem

Becoming the Poem is an installation of landscape paintings that consider my relationship to nature and how to foster hope living in an ecological crisis. As a first-generation diasporic artist of Guyanese descent, I engage with speculative imagination, by exploring the flora and fauna of the region that my parents are from in West Coast Demerara near the Amazon rainforest, along with my present geographic location. Through material driven processes, I embed myself in highly intuitive, sensory-based working methodologies that mimic the evolutionary path of nature. The outcome, an accumulation of deep time materialized through my body and the paint, collapses past and future representations of natural formations, presenting nature’s resilience and how it can rise above ecological disaster.

Ashley Beerdat is a painter, muralist and arts educator based in the GTA. She has a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Western University and is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo. Her work is held in the City of Mississauga’s permanent corporate art collection and has been exhibited at the Small Arms Inspection Building, Latitude 53, the Artist Project, and Withrow Common Gallery. Artist’s Instagram

Charlie Star
In The Mix

In The Mix is an interdisciplinary exhibition that explores music of the Black diaspora. Through a site-specific, interactive installation that combines sound, music, collage, personal family photographs and archives, disc-jockeying, and experimental turntablism, representations of Black identity are explored and reimagined. Participating in remix culture, the use of both audio and visual samples from existing works are appropriated to create new works. In reimagining existing materials and incorporating personal experiences, the exhibition seeks to promote a more nuanced and varied understanding of the complexities of Black identity and diaspora. Astrology is further incorporated as a framework to analyze unseen elements behind musical releases, as well as to create sonic compositions that evoke ideas of time and space. The exhibition is brought together in a lounge-like environment that merges two series: the Afrosonic Listening Lounge and Astral Records.

Charlie Star is a multidisciplinary artist who draws inspiration from her unique experiences and perspectives as a biracial French-Canadian-Afro-Caribbean woman. Recently, she has exhibited with the Student Art Innovation Lab at the 2023 Lumen Festival and led collage workshops at the Art Gallery of Burlington. Both her academic and studio practice have been recognized by the Social Sciences and Research Council (SSHRC) and with the Sylvia Knight award. Artist’s Website

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

Ivan Jurakic, Director/Curator

Wednesday to Saturday 12-5 pm
Or by appointment

Ground floor entry
Automated door at Fine Arts entrance
Accessible washrooms on ground level
Wide pathways

263 Phillip Street, Waterloo
East Campus Hall (ECH) is located adjacent to Engineering 6 (E6)
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Visitor Parking available in B Lot (E6) or Q Lot (EC1) for a flat rate of $7
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University of Waterloo Art Gallery
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Image credits and descriptions:
1) Ashley Beerdat, The Moon Was Her Sun and The Sun Was Her Moon (detail), 2024, acrylic paint, chalk and oil pastel on canvas. Photo: courtesy of the artist. Description: An expressionistic forest scene painted in vibrant magentas, greens, blues and yellows.
2) Charlie Star, Afrosonic Listening Lounge (detail), 2024, mixed media wall installation. Photo: courtesy of the artist. Description: A densely packed wall featuring LP covers by Parliament and Burning Spear alongside modified discs, posters, speaker heads, ticket stubs, and ephemera.