UW Fine Arts MFA Thesis Two: Clara Laratta | Stephanie Florence

University of Waterloo Art Gallery

May 11-27, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday May 11, 5-8 pm
Opening Remarks: 6 pm / Stephanie Florence listening: 6:30 pm

Clara Laratta
In Search of Wholeness

The work in this exhibition is grounded in autoethnographic research that examines aspects of wholeness. It looks at familial relationships, relations to food, culture, and our environment. The work ties these components together as fundamental elements of being complete. Natural materials such as wood, celery pulp, and fibres are presented as forms that appear both ancient and modern, bridging the gap, and forging bonds between the past and present, while highlighting the continuity of human experience, and transcending the individual. The exhibition considers whether wholeness can be achieved in a world where everything is constantly changing, transient and impermanent. It reflects the belief that personal healing occurs in conjunction with collective and planetary healing. Through offering space for contemplation on these interconnected themes, this body of work contributes to, and dialogues with, a broader cultural shift towards more diverse, inclusive understanding, and compassion.

Clara Laratta (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist born and based in Hamilton, Ontario. In her work she utilizes integrative methodologies to research aspects of identity. Her current body of work uses an autoethnographic approach to examine elements of wholeness. This work consists of sculpture, video, and photography. It moves between and merges, modalities, connections, personal and collective healing and culminates in an informal archive of lived experience. claralaratta.com

Stephanie Florence
rinse and repeat

rinse and repeat is a collaborative space that invites the viewer to become an active participant in endeavouring to unlearn consumerist behaviours. Florence will be guiding participants through walking tours, workshops, and listenings throughout the exhibition period, intending to develop community and invite discussion as interspecies citizens. Moss and Fungi are at the center of this relational practice, as artworks become habitats and offerings to the Land. All are welcome while treading with empathy.

Walking tours and listening workshops open to public, please meet at UWAG:
Thursday May 18 at 3:30 pm—National Museum Day
Saturday May 27 at 1:00 pm—closing day of the exhibition

Participants are invited to forward pictures from walking tours and listening workshops to: @i_intuited_this on Instagram for possible inclusion as part of the artwork personnel growth. Further details about the project can be found at: stephanieflorence.ca

Stephanie Florence (they/them) is a neurodiverse non-binary artist and curator originally from amiskwacîwâskahikan, so-called Edmonton, Alberta. They are currently collaborating with Moss, Fungi, and Trees to investigate the possibility of interspecies citizenship, and how living bodies become a commodity for colonial-capitalist culture. Florence is grateful for support from the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, Pat the Dog, and Canada Council for the Arts in researching or producing collaborative artwork with species in the colonized-city landscape.

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

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

263 Phillip Street, Waterloo
East Campus Hall (ECH) is located adjacent to Engineering 6 (E6)
Campus map

Visitor Parking is available in Lot B beside Engineering 6 (E6) or Lot Q for a flat rate of $5
Campus map

University of Waterloo Art Gallery
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Image credits and descriptions:
1) Clara Laratta, Self-Talk – NO/Know (video still), digital video, 1 min. 30 sec. Image courtesy the artist. Description: A mirrored upside-down portrait of the artist talking to herself, in which her nose and mouth appear to be fused.
2) Stephanie Florence, meeting my maker (detail), 2022, documentation series of Oyster Mushroom and I, 25 x 16.6 in. Image courtesy the artist. Description: An image of the artist’s fingers reaching up towards the fruit of an oyster mushroom on the left.