Allyson Mitchell and Madelyne Beckles, still from What Motivates Her? 2018. Courtesy of the Artists.

What Motivates Her? 

Allyson Mitchell and Madelyne Beckles

January 18 – March 10, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, January 18, 2019 at 7PM

In their respective practices, both artists strive to make thought- provoking, eye-opening, powerful work about feminism, sexuality and social stigmas. Thinking through intersectional queer feminist embodiments and new materialism, together they create an interactive, sensorial environment in the gallery informed by pop culture, deconstruction and feminist gestures. Of their work they state: “We are two artists who struggle to understand how we move and groove through feminism, family, violence, bureaucracy, and the tasks of the everyday which can seem impossible, shameful and ridiculous in this political moment. Our shared fantastic empathetic intuitions are what we push and reveal in this exhibition that includes video, textile, sculpture and prints.”

Their artwork often leverages traditional domestic practices, using recycled materials and imagery, including craft techniques and found objects. Using a destabilizing humour, this collaborative installation also addresses complicated negotiations facing artists engaged with politics and identity today, particularly when the impetus is on bringing gender and racial inequality into focus.

Instant Places: Breathing Room Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh

Instant Places: Breathing Room

Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh

March 15 – May 5, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, March 15, 7:00 -10:00PM
Artists In Residence: May 1-5, 2019, Studio Two
Artist Talk: Thursday, May 2, 7:00 – 9:00PM
Field Art Workshop: Saturday, May 4,1:00 – 3:00PM

Artists Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh (AKA Instant Places) use performances, generative installations, and telematic networks to create instant places of imagination and connection. The artists design software instruments that generate infinitely-varied audiovisual transformations, and develop installation works that transform host galleries into immersive environments.

This new intermedia installation, Breathing Room is a meditation on complementarity. Through multiple projections and a multi-speaker 3D audio field, the artists explain: “the generative machine creates a world in which encounters between frequencies of sound and spectra of colour create vibrations of difference, revealing a third presence that floats between sound and vision.”

As a collaborative team, Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh have travelled the world making Instant Places art on location throughout the UK/Europe, Australia, Japan, in the USA/South America and from coast to coast in Canada. Documents from recent projects and an extensive archive of works dating to 2001 may be found on their website:

Home Economics: 150 Years of Canadian Hooked Rugs  

Organized and circulated by the Textile Museum of Canada

May 10 – June 30, 2019

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum

Curated by Deanna Bowen

July 5 – August 25, 2019

* The Thames Art Gallery hosts 12 – 15 exhibitions each year. These include projects that feature regional, national, and international artists. This section of our web site provides current information on upcoming exhibitions and Gallery related events.

Thames Art Gallery exhibitions and programs are generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

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