Artlab 2020-2021

Fall 2020

We Were, And Then We Weren't.
Sepideh Tajalizadeh Dashti: To Be Me
Everyone Here Has Something in Common
...And on That Day, I Went for a Walk
Transitions: A virtual exhibition for SA 2652A Intro to Digital Photography


Banner image for We Were and Then We Weren't showing a violet sky reflected in skyscraper windows
We Were, and Then We Weren't 

Artlab Gallery

Monday, September 14 - September 24, 2020

Tia Bates, Sam Erdelyi, Ashley Staines, Helia Trinh, Sam Wagter

Leaping from the walls and breaching our space

Filling the room

Every nook, cranny, and cavity


Twisting and pulling itself into allegories

A dual entity.


It became us, and we became it

We were, and then we weren’t.


Light is intrinsically connected to darkness. Neither can be understood without experiencing the other. “We Were, and Then We Weren’t” uses painting, sculpture, video, installation and mixed media works to represent tangible and intangible allegories for the interactions between aura, memory and light. It draws attention to the relationships of these elements, questioning their ephemerality.

Representing modes of human perception through metaphor, whether visual, profound, or metaphysical, these works create an intertwining web of thought-forms. This web begins to dissolve the physical space into a philosophical one. The immersive presence of light moves outward from the surface of the work, seeping into the material world and representing the aura as a physical space.

Banner image for Identify exhibition showing a black card folded in half with Identify printed on it

Cohen Commons Gallery

Monday, September 14 - September 24, 2020

Peter Dickson, Rachel Elias, Aisha Hassen, Jimin Lee

The individual within society – a dynamic that presents “other,” “othering,” and “otherness.”

Pulling from their personal identities and life experiences, four artists question the reality of the self and come to terms with what has marked each of themselves as “other.” Specifically, they address the implications of being biracial, multicultural, and multilingual in a world that affirms the self to be a single entity belonging to a single group, to a single race, to a single culture, to a single language. Their explorations reveal the complexity involved in one’s relationship with society.

Including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, and installation works, I-dentify. serves to remind us of the agency we have in defining and redefining our “self,” in understanding where we’ve come from, what we’ve been through, and how we, in turn, identify.


We Were, And Then We Weren't | Artlab Gallery & I-dentify | Cohen Commons


Midway through September, certain locations and services on Western's campus were forced to close to the public in the efforts of community health and safety. Among these spaces was the Artlab Gallery, which had just opened the exhibition We Were, And Then We Weren't by fourth-year BFA Practicum Students. In this digital publication, exhibiting student and Artlab Intern Sam Wagter recounts the group's collective challenges during the COVID pandemic: creating work through the summer at a distance, organizing a public exhibition, and then having that exhibition unexpectedly shutter to the public. Wagter also offers useful strategies for cultivating creativity in our present crisis.

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Monday, October 5 - 15, 2020

Anahí González, Rebecca Sutherland, Declan Hoy, Tommy Bourque, Faith Patrick
An exhibition of works by the Department's second-year MFA candidates, featuring photography, sculpture, video, and installation pieces.

Installation view of the Artlab's current MFA exhibition

 A text-based graphic for the current MFA exhibition which asks a series of questions: got stuff? out of space? EVERYONE NEEDS MORE NOW!    Open an internet browser. Type “Google Images” Search for “Mexican Workers” What do you see? Search for “Canadian Workers” What do you see?   how do i remember? do i want to be remembered? do i leave something behind does it matter?    How can the abject be beautiful?  How can beauty be abject?  How much power and beauty is there in the potential?     There is 82 years of video uploaded to Youtube everyday How many videos are never seen? Is it possible to graph the movement and remixing of something on the internet? Is it worth it?


http://store.tongue.beautiful.goods.temporary.feet.web | Artlab Gallery

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Sepideh Tajalizadeh Dashti: To Be Me

Monday, October 26 - November 12, 2020

 An installation view of Sepideh Dashti's exhibition, showing a large-scale video work on the wall and three spotlight videos on the floor

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.” —Rumi

There is something inside each one of us that, sometimes, is impossible to explain and define in precise words. However, this ambiguous something exists and acts. Sepideh Tajalizadeh Dashti, an Iranian woman who grew to adulthood in Iran and who now resides between Canada and the United States, has experienced deep feelings of ambiguity in her encounters with different cultural and social expectations. 

Not all diasporas are the same. Not all female experiences of oppression are the same. Dashti’s experience as an Iranian diasporic woman is fragmented along ethnic, religious, social, political, and class lines. These fragments pose challenges to her attempts to bind with others and find solidarity based in multiculturalism and ethnicity. Dashti establishes her body as an integral material in her art practices to make the explanation of her experiences and challenges possible. She seeks to claim her body across multiple media of performance, video, and installation. Dashti focuses on traumas that underscore both personal experience and engagement with larger sociopolitical structures of the phallocentric systems that exist in both her homeland and her host countries.

Representation is a crucial location of the struggle for any exploited and oppressed bodies asserting subjectivity. Dashti insists on reminding us to work against the silence and erasure of traumatic experience. “To Be Me” features contemporary representations of Dashti’s Iranian and immigrant identity formation. Works within this MFA thesis exhibition relay the immense struggles of living between places and cultures. Dashti explores her identity in the hope of calling oppressive authorities into question. Perhaps there is not much hope for a bright future where differences are recognized without eliminating the voices of others. But striving to make this future fosters hope-—both to endure and to continue.

Video walkthrough of "To Be Me"



Sepideh Tajalizadeh Dashti: To Be Me | Artlab Gallery

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Everyone Here Has Something in Common

November 23 - December 3, 2020 in the Artlab Gallery

 A series of small objects that have been covered in white paint are clustered together
Image courtesy of Megan Goddard.

Installation art is an artistic genre that challenges the boundaries of traditional art. The history of installation art dates back to the 1960’s to early 1970’s, in which it provoked a reversal to the modernist sculpture’s relationship with the pedestal. The pedestal disconnected the sculpture from the space or stated its indifference to it, allowing the work to possess independence from its environment. On the contrary, installation art is directed by the space in which it is constructed. Although installation may involve elements of architecture, sculpture, painting, video, photography and performance, it aspired to challenge the limitations of these art forms as well as their institutional settings. Moreover, installation art was an attempt to resist the trend of circulating art as a commodity, something that is transportable and exchangeable.

In this project, students from SA 2643: Introduction to Sculpture and Installation explore ideas of "where are you coming from?" with a focus on "your culture." Here, "culture" is interpreted both as culture in everyday life, as well as more specific historical and ethnic cultural backgrounds. Students explore cultural connections, exchanges, and crossings by using readymades and found objects to create collaborative installations. They are directed to incorporate ornaments, as ornate artefacts have circulated amongst various cultures and have been adapted/hybridized within new cultural contexts throughout history.

Course Instructor: Soheila K. Esfahani
Teaching Assistant: Rebecca Sutherland

Shannon Boast, Charlotte Cao, Cauchi Rayne, Maggie Charbonneau, Julia Fawcett, Chloe Gatti, Megan Goddard, Emma Hennessy, Chelsea Hitchen, Josette Joseph, Lauryn Kell, Madison Kelly, Wesley Macpherson, Emma McInnes, Darcy McVicar, Linjing Qian, Aly Rana, Lara Stamenkovic, Laryssa Stoetzer, Hailey Watson, JoAnna Weil, Ava Wright

Installation image of a group exhibition of readymade-based collaborations exploring culture

Photograph of an installationa plinth, wooden frame, white rope, and hanging teapot

 Photograph of an installation involving a ladder, thread, and personal belongings

Photograph of an installation involving a stool, shag rug, framed works and hanging plants

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...And on That Day, I Went for a Walk

A Virtual Exhibition by students in SA 2602A: Studio Seminar

Image grabbed from student-built website showing a hand-drawn map with a house, car, road and trees

Image from "This is a Dérive," courtesy of Makenzie Marie Ermel, Megan Lynn Goddard, Clementine Leong, and Noelle Mahoney

Diverted from destinations we went for a walk. Stirred by Ólafur’s Eliason’s Institute of Spatial Experiments, walking alongside the ghosts of Guy Dubord and the Situationists, we set out to explore thinking doing, to let slip the screens of charts and maps, and seek the open. Some ventured in groups, some alone; some during day, some during night; some guided by curiosity, some by the deflecting directives of Dérive apps uploaded to smartphones. We brought back personal notation of our encounters to share in small groups before individually fashioning artworks in response. The pieces presented here comprise a final rounding— a yield of three collaborative digital works formed from intersecting paths.

Interactive pdf of the exhibition (best viewed on a standard monitor), or view all three works below.

Course Instructor: David Merritt

The Universal Taco

Caroline Bridget Kathleen O'Regan, Hailey Watson, Abbygale Shelley and Tyme Thompson

A video that gives insight to the absent-minded individual as they scroll through the different social settings and interactions with others across multiple social media apps during a philosophy lecture.

This is a Dérive 

Megan Goddard, Clementine Leong, Noelle Mahoney and Mackenzie Ermel

How does one create the feeling of a walk in a digital setting? This web page is built to reflect those feelings. Created from multiple experiences, this web page shows important images from these walks, as well as audio that can be interacted with.

A Little Spot in my Mind

Holly Granken, Lara Stamenkovic, Karlee Pattenden, Liv Pattison, and Isabella Springett

So much has changed in the last year that allows us to do things from home- working, going to school, and going to art galleries!  Join us on a mini tour of our mini galleries each inspired by different things in different places, all from the comfort and safety of your own home.  

Banner image showing the exhibition title, "Transitions," against a textured white background

A virtual exhibition for SA 2652A Intro to Digital Photography

On January 1st, 2020, we transitioned into a new decade and a new era. Eleven months later, we know this was just the beginning of the transition society would experience in 2020.

In this virtual exhibition, students from SA 2652A: Introduction to Digital Photography explore ideas of transition and what they mean for our past, present, and future. Their works collectively examine thinking paths about transitions related to various themes: cultural, social, environmental, political, and technological.

Course Instructor: Jennifer Martin
Teaching Assistant and Curator: Anahí González

Skye MacKenzie Gibson, Yuqing Chen, Lilianna Thornton-Nickerson, Nicole Traher, Brooklyn Lorraine, Maya Fernandez, Justin Mulder, Yi Zhou, Ava Gossen, Liuyi Cheng, Isabella Elisa Springett, Lauryn Kell, Leo Rao, Michael James Harrison, Man Nga Ting, Runjia Huang, SiHyun Vision Kim, Wasef Al Shaikh Yasin, Victoria Khounbourinh, Hongji Weng, Lan Wei, Angie Allen-Demaria, Yumeng Chen, Jennifer Guo, Sofia Bernyck


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