2023 Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition II

Thursday, May 11, 2023 5:00 pm - Saturday, May 27, 2023 5:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Opening reception: Thursday May 11, 5:00–8:00 pm

The Department of Fine Arts and UWAG present the second in the series of thesis exhibitions by Master of Fine Arts (MFA) candidates from the graduate program in Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo. MFA Thesis gives the campus and community-at-large an opportunity to see the end result of two years of intensive research and studio production by emerging visual artists.

Two photographs taken by looking up into tree branches and spinning around
Gallery One
Clara Laratta
In Search of Wholeness: Rituals, (Im)possibilities and Transformations

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 raised 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.


Image credit: Clara Laratta, Childhood memories: spin to release — it’s taking a little longer to get up (composite video still), digital video, 1 min. 40 sec.

Person's hand reaches out to touch an oyster mushroom
Gallery Two
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, 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 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.

Image credit: Stephanie Florence, meeting my maker, 2022, documentation series of Oyster Mushroom and I, 25 x 16.6 in.