Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
Each month, the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement will be highlighting a past Grebel Gallery artist. This artist series reflects on the ideas of community and identity in relation to envisioning a post-COVID world. Read the profiles below to learn more about the current artistry and passions of these creative professionals.
I’m interested in the capacity of art to create the conditions wherein difficult experiences might be reflected and touched upon. Art holds a space for that encounter. It suggests new ways of knowing oneself in relation to others. This is the radical potential of the aesthetic gesture: at its best, art asks us to feel, to think, and to emerge differently from that encounter.
The Cultural Life of Drones: KW Drone Dialogues, Fall 2020, Grebel Gallery
Sara Matthews is an artist and academic, with interests in conflict, education, and social change. A faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University, her projects explore the relationship between war and visual culture.
Matthews' exhibition The Cultural Life of Drones: KW Drone Dialogues at the Grebel Gallery employed installation and social documentary practices to engage a conversation about the social practices surrounding surveillance and drone technologies.
To learn more about Sara Matthews' artistry and scholarship, visit saramatthews.ca.
Over the past 75 years, a gallery where art is shown has been seen as a contested space. It is about time for us to interrogate the truthfulness of that interpretation. In reality, art can be seen anywhere and anytime. In reality, good forms of art organically migrate and spread around the world, overcoming any man-made borders between nations, classes, races, and genders. That’s why art paves a path toward peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
A New Era of Peace and a Peaceful Land, Grebel Gallery, Spring 2018
Heng-Gil Han is the founding director of the Korea Art Forum, based in New York City. He is a distinguished curator and has published numerous critical essays.
His curated exhibit hosted at the Grebel Gallery, A New Era of Peace and a Peaceful Land, featured rarely-seen art pieces of North and South Korean, American, and Chinese artists. From bright paintings to monochromatic photography, Han's exhibit displayed a variety of styles, voices, and perspectives.
For more information about Han and his upcoming work, visit the Korean Art Forum website.
In my art practice, I explore the notion of the Third Space, a site of cultural translation, where locations of cultures are negotiated and new narratives are adapted and hybridized. The COVID-19 pandemic has made me ponder on the idea of living in the Third Space as a society, where our norms are destabilized and new ways of being are constructed.
Cultural Translation: Negotiated Third Spaces and Those Who Live There, Grebel Gallery, Fall 2018
Soheila Esfahani is an Iranian-Canadian artist based in Waterloo, ON. In recent years, Esfahani's work has explored the concept of cultural translation, as first described by Homi Bhabha. Using cultural ornaments, objects, and souvenirs, Esfahani's installations challenge the viewer's understanding of how cultures are negotiated and adapted when occupying new spaces.
Esfahani's exhibit at the Grebel Gallery, Cultural Translation, showcased mostly blue and white porcelain, an artistic style adopted by many different cultures.
For more information about Esfahani and her upcoming work, visit soheila.ca.
Want to learn more about the rest of the Grebel Gallery artists? Explore our Past Exhibits page.