A new exhibit at MHC Gallery introduces its audience to thinking critically about different types of change with moments of time and personal struggles.
Grief and Grievance: Sites of Change opens today at 7:30 p.m. at the Mennonite Heritage Centre (MHC) Gallery which includes works from two artists; "Protest" by Briony Haig, and "The Grief Project," by Barb Bottle.
Each artist uses their own unique style to portray types of change by using personal experiences and public moments of loss and trauma, worry and concern. This collection of art is meant to trigger emotions from viewers to allow for personal reflection, be inspired by radical dialogue, and, in some way, change in one another.
Barb Bottle received her BFA from the University of Manitoba and completed the Mentoring Artists for Women's Art (MAWA) Foundation Mentorship program with her mentor Sarah Crawley. Through her work "The Grief Project," she explores themes of memory, grief, loss and aging in a mixed media style.
Briony Haig studied also studied art at UM and participated in the MAWA Foundation Mentorship program, along with Northwest Polymer Clay Guild, the TICA program at the Chicago School of Art, and drawing at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Her work, titled "Protest," is inspired by moments and voices in contemporary social justice issues, including the climate crisis, poverty, sexual harassment in the workplace and more.
Haig touches on moments that inspired her to chase her dream of being an artist and to make meaning from it.
"I've been an artist all my life. I didn't take it really seriously until my parents died rather young, they were in their late sixties. It just kind of hit me, well life is finite and I can't mess around so if I care about this I got to do it. So, I went to art school."
The multi-media artist says that it was her time at MAWA that allowed her to believe she was an artist and to believe in her talents, today, she calls herself an artist with pride and certainty.
To be a multi-media artist means to be skilled in a variety of artistic mediums, for example, Haig works with oil and acrylic paint, and polymer clay.
Haig says that the inspiration for the "Protest" series was her experience at an anti-fascism protest at the University of Winnipeg a few years back.
"There was this group of women artists that were dressed up as clowns and they had this little sign, it was just a little whiteboard and it said 'Clowns against Fascism,' and that really impacted me. First of all, I thought it was absolutely brilliant...Antifa showed up, but I felt the clowns were more powerful."
It was this ingenious display of wanting change that inspired Haig's theme for this exhibit.
"I hope that people feel something," says Haig when asked what she wants people to get out of seeing her art.
Grief and Grievance: Sites of Change will be on display at the MHC Gallery until Saturday, March 4, 2023.