The new fall collection comes after delays caused by COVID-19
The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) launched its fall gallery exhibits this month during the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibits feature works from award-winning artists Stephen Waddell and Mohamed Bourouissa, as well as recent Ryerson alumnus, Ethan Murphy.
The galleries are open to the public, but there are new rules that are being applied because of the pandemic. All visitors are required to wear a mask when inside the building and the number of people allowed in has been limited to a few at a time.
The hours have been reduced to 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Tuesdays are now reserved for pre-planned tours.
RIC exhibitions curator, Gaëlle Morel, says that when the pandemic hit Toronto earlier this year, her team did not know if they were going to be able to reopen at all.
“What was decided right away was we were not going to cancel any exhibitions, we would just postpone them,” she says.
Featured work of Scotiabank Photography Award winner
In 2019, Stephen Waddell was the recipient of the 2019 $50,000 Scotiabank Photography Award. The gallery at the RIC contains work from throughout his career. According to the RIC website, he is a Vancouver-based artist who experiments with light and scale to capture urban scenes in Canada and Europe.
The Waddell exhibit launched on Sept. 16, 2020 and is located in the Main Gallery and Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall.
Morel says Waddell’s work was interesting to her because he “takes pictures of people in urban environments in what he calls a tableau form, which is why you’re not quite sure if what you are seeing is captured candidly or if it was staged.”
Waddell will be hosting a lecture via zoom on Sept. 30, 2020 at 7 p.m. to discuss how he trained to be ready for the frames and scenes that he captures in his art.
The gallery was curated by Morel, who says she faced challenges because of extended shipping times and fewer available staff.
This exhibit will run until Nov. 28, 2020.
Ethan Murphy’s exhibit explores themes of loss
Ethan Murphy, an alumnus of the photography studies program, launched his “Front & Back” series in the Student Gallery at the RIC.
“What I care about the most in terms of exhibiting work is how it reaches an audience and how it can be a helpful form of expression,” says Murphy.
The exhibit explores his relationship with family, loss and photography. For his pieces, he used photographs from an old family album. The images were all stuck together and he took them apart to showcase both the damaged photographs in the front and the abstract design that appears on the back. Murphy says he chose to do this because he wanted to explore the image and material loss and how that would appear in a tangible way.
He says that he has been looking at community projects and reflecting on his art practice as an emerging artist, instead of creating exhibits right from the time he graduated.
He says artists should “consciously, always (be) thinking about what matters to them, so that when they do want to produce something meaningful, they have a perspective that’s worth listening to.”
The Student Gallery will exhibit his work up to Oct. 17, 2020.
Mohamed Bourouissa showcases equestrian video
Morel also curated the University Gallery with Mohamed Bourouissa’s art.
Bourouissa is an Algerian-French artist who was awarded artist residency in North Philadelphia, Pa., in 2014. He worked in collaboration with the longest standing African-American equestrian club, the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, which is located in an impoverished neighbourhood, according to Morel.
In his video, “Horse Day,” he narrates the preparation of a parade that is taking place at the stables.
His work will be exhibited until Nov. 28, 2020.
The last exhibit of the season, Rana Nazzal Hamadeh’s “1/1000th of a Dunam,” will launch on Oct. 28, 2020.