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, 7:00 – 10:00 PM

Thames Art Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition "What Motivates Her?" with artists Allyson Mitchell and Madelyne Beckles. 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.

Allyson Mitchell is a maximalist visual artist actively based in Toronto, currently running the F.A.G. Feminist Art Gallery alongside Deidre Logue. She predominantly works in sculpture, performance, installation and film, and strives to redefine and reclaim previous images of women, sexuality, and the body through craft-based tactics. Her work has exhibited at the Textile Museum of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Warhol Museum, Tate Modern and the British Film Institute. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at York University, Toronto.

Madelyne Beckles is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Art history, feminist texts, and/or pop culture are employed as entry points to explore the/her black body, and to create new contexts, identities, and environments. Recurring themes include narcissism, self-deprecation, consumption, consumerism, sexuality, shame, labour, camp, and the abject, which she attempts to de-construct through feminist critical race frameworks. The intentions of her work are to challenge and mock traditional notions of femininity, which are often made with household items, including her phone and webcam, as well as her own body.

Gallery is open Wednesday to Friday 1:00-7:00PM; Saturday and  Sunday 11:00AM-4:00PM. Admission is always free.

Madelyn Beckles, still from Theory of The Young Girl, 2017. Courtesy of Vtape Toronto.