artLAB 2022-2023

Summer 2024

artLAB and Cohen Commons: proce-ss-emblage | distanced-matters

Winter 2024

artLAB Gallery: Sincerely,
Cohen Commons: Midnight Oil
artLAB Gallery: meromictic
Cohen Commons: ANTHROPIC
artLAB Gallery & Cohen Commons: AJE 22!
artLAB Gallery: Bread, Butter, Tea, Soup
Cohen Commons: Drafts 5: Diasporic Bodies

Fall 2023

EVENT: Visual Pleasure with Dr. Jeff Preston and Erin Clark
EVENT: Western Performs!
artLAB Gallery: Non-Stop Digital Flickerings
Cohen Commons: Exploring Modern and Craft Art in London’s Cathedral’s
artLAB Gallery: In the Heart of the Bronze
Cohen Commons: [páng huáng] | to pace
artLAB Gallery: Static Unearthed
Cohen Commons: The paradox of progress
artLAB Gallery: Achy Awfulness
Cohen Commons: RiverFest


Dong-Kyoon Nam, PhD candidate
Exhibition: April 25 – May 16, 2024
Reception: Thursday, April 25 from 5-7PM
In Conversation with Steven Debruyn: Wednesday, May 1 from 2-3PM


Dong-Kyoon Nam, adrift terrain. dimension variable, mixed media. 2024

The sculptural practice of Dong-Kyoon Nam reconstructs the illusive and ambiguous links between art and the mundane from an ecological perspective, through accumulation, excess, concealment, transformation, and a 'distanced assemblage' of fragmented objects. The 'distance' contemplated in this show does not simply refer to a physical distance between things and viewers within a sculptural space. It can also imply a hostile and tense confrontation between the self and the other, or a process of tentative separation and isolation. Simultaneously, distance can also reveal potential modes of hesitation, as when we are on the verge of associations with others, however ambiguously, through mutuality and coordination, bidirectional gestures, and so on.

The artist, Kyoon, is also interested in what can be thought of and felt as an everyday but unexpected kind of distance we experience through objects:

...convenience, passion, seduction, disdain, repulsion, indifference, detachment, and guilt towards everyday things always coexists and confronts each of us, and is all around us. Two modes – continuity and discontinuity – are embraced by ontological distance as one 

Through his artistic practice, Dong-Kyoon Nam questions the objects, materials, and tools around us at the most fundamental level while presenting a process of sculptural exploration demonstrating his studio practice itself to be depicting a small ecological cycle and trajectory.

Join us for the opening reception on Thursday, April 25 from 5pm to 7pm, and come back on Wednesday, May 1 at 2pm bringing your questions, concerns, doubts, and inspirations, related to what you think, see and experience in the exhibition. The artist will briefly discuss his ideas and practice with Steven Debruyn, MFA candidate. We will then open the conversation up to engage in a discussion regarding responses of the community.


거리를 물질들


남동균의 조형작업은 파편화된 사물들의 축적, 초과, 은폐, 변형 그리고, ‘거리를 아상블라주 통해, 예술과 일상 사이의 환영적이고 모호한 연결고리들을 생태학적 관점에서 재구성한다. 전시의 작품들에서 사유되는거리 단순히 조형적 공간 내에서의 관객과 사물 사이의 물리적 거리 만을 의미하진 않는다. 거리는 나와 타자 사이의 적대적이고 긴장된 대치, 혹은 잠정적 분리와 고립의 과정을 암시할 있으며, 동시에 상호성과 조율, 양방향적 제스쳐 등을 통해, 모호하게나마, 타자와의 연계를 이루기 직전의 잠재적 양태들을 역으로 드러낼 수도 있다. 

작가는 우리가 사물들을 통해 일상적으로 경험하지만, 예상치 못한 유형의 거리감으로써 사유되고 느껴질 있는 것에 대해서도 관심을 표명한다: 

 일상적 사물들에 대한 편의, 열정, 유혹, 경멸, 역겨움, 무관심, 분리, 죄책감은 항상 공존하며 우리 각자와 마주하고 있으며 우리 주변에 존재한다. 연속성과 비연속성의 두가지 양태들은 존재론적 거리에 의해 하나로 포용된다

예술 실천을 통해 작가는 우리 주변 사물들, 재료들, 도구들에 관한 가장 근본적 수준의 질문을 던짐과 동시에 그의 스튜디오 작업 실천 자체가 하나의 작은 생태계적 순환과 궤적을 그려내는 조형적 탐구의 과정을 제시한다. 

Documentation by Dickson Bou, Gallery Preparator



Exhibition: March 28-April 11, 2024
Reception: Thursday, March 28 from 6-8PM
artLAB Gallery

Practicum Students: Bridget L Beardwood, Laila Bloomstone, Isabella Bruni, Susy Castillo, Kate Chaksfield, Jack Cocker, Kate Dunn, SiHyun Vision Kim, TK, Megan Muir, Bridget Puhacz, Michaela Purcell, Chloe Serenko, Marissa Slack, Emil Stoetzer, Amelie Swayze, Sacha Veillon, Elina Zhou

To celebrate our hard work throughout the year, Western University’s 4th year Studio Arts Practicum course presents our final exhibition at the artLAB Gallery. Sincerely, is the most genuine representation of our class as a whole, that showcases the incredible work from each artist of the practicum class of 2024. Sincerely, is our attempt at connecting with each other and the world.

With this exhibition, we hope to convey the hopes and themes of our developing practices, and demonstrate the sincerity of our work.  As we have developed our practices over the school year, we have all learned about ourselves and our practices. As a result, Sincerely, encompasses many unique and overlapping themes. In this class, we asked ourselves: What does art mean to us? What is it that we truly want to make? How do you know if your work is good enough? And what does good enough even mean? There may be no right answers to these kinds of questions, but from us to you, Sincerely, art is meant to be genuine to you. With this show, we are reaching out into the world, and we hope that you’ll meet us there.

FREE parking in orange lot Thursday, March 28 from 5:00pm onwards!

Sincerely, | artLAB Gallery

Documenation by Dickson Bou, Gallery Preparator


Midnight Oil

Exhibition: March 28-April 11, 2024
Reception: Thursday, March 28 from 6-8PM
Cohen Commons

Curated by Chloe Serenko, artLAB Gallery Intern.

Work by: Bridget Beardwood, Isabella Bruni, Susy Castillo, Arianna Elder-Johnson, Emma Hardy, TK, Ambar Kaushik, Emily Kings, SiHyun Vision Kim, Amy Murray, Jadhen Pangilinan, Anna Riberdy, Marissa Slack, and Emil Stoetzer.

In the relentless pursuit of success, amidst the ceaseless demands of modern life, burnout emerges as a poignant and pervasive reality. "Midnight Oil" invites you to delve into the depths of this phenomenon through the evocative lens of contemporary art. This exhibition serves as a sanctuary for reflection, a canvas upon which the complexities of burnout are laid bare, and a catalyst for dialogue and healing. 

Within these walls, artists confront the exhaustion that permeates our collective consciousness, exploring its multifaceted manifestations with raw honesty and unyielding creativity. Through a diverse array of mediums and perspectives, they illuminate the paradoxical interplay between aspiration and depletion, ambition and disillusionment, vitality and exhaustion. 

"Midnight Oil" transcends mere observation, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the visceral landscapes of burnout, confront the shadows that linger at the edges of ambition, and reclaim the power of vulnerability and self-care. As we navigate the tumultuous terrain of existence within academia, this exhibition serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of compassion, resilience, and the pursuit of balance in an ever-stress-inducing world. 

Join us on a journey of introspection and discovery, as we navigate the labyrinthine corridors of burnout and emerge with newfound clarity, empathy, and hope. Together, let us illuminate the path towards healing, transformation, and the rekindling of the human spirit. 

We burn the midnight oil to inevitably, bleed success.  

Midnight Oil | Cohen Commons Gallery

Documenation by Dickson Bou, Gallery Preparator



Curated by MCS4605E
Exhibition: February 29 – March 14, 2024

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 29 from 5-8PM
artLAB Gallery


Kionywarihwaen, or Crawford Lake, is a small body of water that formed in a limestone cliff sinkhole near Milton, Ontario, just over 100km away from the Artlab Gallery. This exhibition responds to the 2023 selection of Crawford Lake by the International Commission on Stratigraphy as the "golden spike" that marks the start of a new proposed geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The lake is meromictic, meaning the layers of water within it do not mix, allowing for the preservation of sediment deposits in the lakebed. Because of this, layers of sediment lie untouched at the bottom of the lake, showing, among other things, evidence of human impact on the world in a layer of radioactive plutonium from nuclear weapons tests - the marker that has been decided represents the moment human impact becomes evident in the strata of the geologic record; that is, the Anthropocene. 

How can we understand the impact of this moment? This exhibition uses stratigraphy as an organizing principle, pulling back layers to try to understand the complicated relations involved in naming a geologic era and marking it through a lake in Ontario. Seven artists investigating water, earth, air, soil, wood, rocks, and minerals, are paired with specimens and samples loaned from collections across Southwestern Ontario. Each pairing brings an additional level of complexity to the exhibition and illustrates the ultimate challenge of trying to fully grasp an epoch in a layer of sediment. meromictic focuses on both the opportunity to learn from the siting of the golden spike, and on all that escapes from accepted forms of knowledge.

Featuring artworks by Janice Brant Kahehtoktha, Greg Curnoe, Simon Fuh, Stefan Herda, Lisa Hirmer, Tomonari Nishikawa, Nico Williams, Kelly Wood. 

With contributions from Biodiversity Gallery/Nina Zitani, Conservation Halton, Neal Ferris, Jessica Johnson/Smithsonian Institute, McCarthy Lab/Brock University, the Museum of Ontario Archeology, Patterson Lab/Carleton University, Corcoran Lab/UWO, the Richard W. Hutchison Geoscience Collaborative Suite/UWO, Aaron Shugar/Queen’s University, Amanda White/FOFA Gallery.

This project was made possible with support from The Strategic Priorities Fund (UWO), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Rodger Research and Development Fund, The Department of Visual Arts (UWO), and the Centre for Sustainable Curating.

Read the Western News article "Art inspired by advent (or not) of Anthropocene" by Keri Ferguson.

meromictic | artLAB Gallery
Exhibition Documentation by Gallery Preparator, Dickson Bou.


tba journal launch and film screening
February 29, 5-8pm
artLAB Gallery, JLVAC, Western University
Launch 5-7pm artLAB Gallery
Screening 7-8pm room 100, JLVAC
Organized by tba editorial team

The editorial team at tba journal are thrilled to announce the digital publication of our 5th peer reviewed volume, PLASTIC, on view at: Through exploratory interventions and historical analyses, the contributors to PLASTIC re-think plasticity as resilience, as an immortal being, and an active agent in post-capitalist colonial industrialisation. On February 29th at 7pm we celebrate the launch of our newest edition, screening three video-works featured in our newest edition by artists Morris Fox, Miles Rufelds and Wiebke Schroeder.


FOFA Sustainable Signage Toolkit launch
February 29, 5-8pm
artLAB Gallery, JLVAC, Western University
Organized by Jasmine Sihra (BA Art History and Museum Studies, 2020; currently PhD Concordia)

Taking cues from the Centre for Sustainable Curating at Western University, Concordia University's FOFA Gallery began an initiative on sustainable signage to move away from vinyl PVC lettering. Through a series of hands-on workshops, in-gallery experiments, collaborations with artists and conversations with others working on similar ideas, the FOFA has developed and documented alternative materials and techniques for creating sustainable gallery signage. Our findings will be compiled into a free bilingual (French/English) toolkit, launching on February 29th, 2024, that showcases sustainable signage options that can be applied to a variety of arts and cultural programming contexts.

This event will be in person, and the toolkit available online after February 29th at


Gwenyth Chao and Emily Chudnovsky, Curatorial Tour and Talk
terra aesthetica: art, activism, and the tectonics of power and pedagogy
March 5, 3-5:30pm
artLAB Gallery, JLVAC, Western University
Tour 3-4pm, artLAB
Talk 4-5:30pm, room TBA
Organized by Ashar Mobeen (PhD student)

Join us for a compelling panel in conjunction with meromictic, featuring artists Gwenyth Chao and Emily Chudnovsky. The panel aims to delve into the intricate nexus of art and activism, the dynamics of power structures, and innovative pedagogical methods, particularly within the context of the Anthropocene. Through their distinctive practices, Chao and Chudnovsky offer unique perspectives on materiality, ecological consciousness, and the potential for art to catalyze change. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the artists, sparking insightful dialogues that promise to enrich our collective understanding of the transformative power of art in addressing contemporary ecological and societal challenges.

About the Artists:

Emily Chudnovsky – Chudnovsky’s artistic practice is centered around the collection of organic remnants and synthetic decay, from which she crafts new iterations, connections, and regenerations through sculpture-based installations. Her intentional use of discarded materials prompts are evaluation of the boundaries between nature and waste. Chudnovsky’s site-specific research spans diverse landscapes, including Scotland, California, Yukon, and Ontario, reflecting a deep engagement with both local environments and broader ecological concerns.

Gwenyth Chao - Born in Toronto/Tkaronto, Canada, Gwenyth Chao holds a BA from the University of Guelph and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her research praxis is driven by the question of how art can serve as a portal to envisage alternative futures through material engagements, thereby challenging and redefining systems of knowledge production and dissemination. Chao’s work, supported by prestigious arts councils and the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, engages with material reconstitution informed by ecological awareness and transdisciplinary processes. Her exhibitions span across Canada, with upcoming solo shows and contributions to significant interdisciplinary projects. Chao’s work not only reflects an experimental approach to art-making but also a commitment to ecological and epistemological exploration.

This event was made possible by the Western Sustainable Impact Fund granted by the President’s Advisory Committee on Environment and Sustainability (PACES).

This event will be in person.


Francine McCarthy, Curatorial Tour and Talk
Defining the Anthropocene in Sediments from a Meromictic Lake  
March 12, 3-5:30pm
artLAB Gallery, JLVAC, Western University
Tour 3-4pm artLAB
Talk 4-5:30pm, room TBA

Dr Francine McCarthy is Professor of Earth Sciences also appointed to the Department of Biological Sciences and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at Brock University, Ontario. She is also Research Associate in Natural History at the Royal Ontario Museum and a voting member of the Anthropocene Working Group. She will talk about her work investigating the potential of the varved sequence in the hydrologically unique Crawford Lake to define the Anthropocene.

This event will be in person.

Tahir Karl Karmali, Curatorial Tour and Talk
March 14, 3-5:30pm
artLAB Gallery, JLVAC, Western University
Tour 3-4pm artLAB
Talk 4-5:30pm, room TBA
Organized by Katie Lawson (PhD student)

Tahir Carl Karmali is a Nairobi-born and Brooklyn-based artist who works across photography, installation, papermaking, sculpture, and sound and concentrates thematically on migration, landscape, geology, labor, and belonging. His series Strata (2017-2019) consists of eight textile sculptures. Each work takes on different forms and styles of sculpture all using dyed raffia stained with cobalt. To create the dye, Karmali performs a ‘reverse mining’ practice whereby old American cell phone batteries—bought one Bay—are dismantled to extract the copper, cobalt oxide, and aluminum. Stratais currently on view as a part of the exhibition Erratic Behaviour(2024) at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, curated by Western PhD candidate Katie Lawson. As a part of programming for meromictic, Karmali will talk about his practice and the nearby exhibition Erratic Behaviour. 

About the artist:

Tahir Carl Karmali received a MA in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2015. Selected solo and group exhibitions include: Water Scarcity: Perpetual Thirst, Wave Hill, New York, 2022; Bound Between Cliffs, a solo show at Circle Art Gallery, 2022; Fictions, Circle Art Gallery, 2022;Heimaten, Museum für Gewerbe, Hamburg, 2021; Omniscient: Queer Documentation in an Image Culture, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York, 2021; Second Careers, Cleveland Museum of Art, 2020; Paper Boarders, IPCNY, New York, 2019. Karmali was commissioned to create work following the inaugural Open Call for The Shed Museum in New York in 2019. Recent residencies include the Watermill Center, New York State, 2020 and Montelo, Nevada, 2021. In 2022 he exhibited at The Armory Show in New York and 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in London. Karmali’swork Swallowing Soil (The Scream 2) has been selected to be displayed at TheRockefeller Foundation's headquarters in New York, following his participation at The Armory Show in 2022. Karmali is set to exhibit in the main pavilion at the Dak’art Biennale 2024.

This event was made possible by the Western Sustainable Impact Fund granted by the President’s Advisory Committee on Environment and Sustainability (PACES). The exhibition Erratic Behaviour is on at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery from January 27-April 21, 2024.

This event will be in person and recorded.


Student-designed catalogues for the exhibition meromictic, featuring buckthorn berry ink on the cover.


Exhibition: February 29 – March 14, 2024
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 29 from 5-8PM
Cohen Commons

Professor Sheri Osden Nault

Payton Atkinson, Patricia Barwicz, Genevieve Buchanan, Mariah Cowan, Stephanie Davey, Anastasia Fedorova, Cheyne Ferguson, Arlen Griffiths, Hannah Khiavi, Megan Lee, Venus Nwaokoro, Niyati Sahdev, Maggie Shook, Natasha Tacconelli, Mady Teeter, Emma Whitehouse

The artworks in Anthropic ask of viewers: What does it mean to be in relationship with the self, other, and environment in the Anthropocene?

In our day-to-day, we are forced to hold the presence of ever-looming crises alongside the persistent wonders offered by our loved ones and the world around us. Environmental degradation, climate change, and species loss pose challenges that compound with personal and interpersonal hardship, necessitating practices of care, play, and joy to soothe anxieties, carry on, and dream ongoing futures. Each of these artists reminds us, through their work, that humans must exist within our environment and alongside each other, that we are flesh and particles like all other beings, and that we must face this reality while in attentive dialogue with our internal worlds.

In conversation with the concurrent exhibition meromictic and the launch of TBA Journal’s Plastic, the works in Anthropic press viewers to dwell within the dissonance of surviving and finding pleasure, in spite of what looms and challenges us.

Anthropic | Cohen Commons

Documentation by Dickson Bou, Gallery Prepartor

AJE 22!

Exhibition: February 1 - 15, 2024
Reception: Thursday, February 1 from 6-8PM
People’s Choice voting: 6-7PM
AJE Award Announcements: 7PM

Celebrating twenty-two years the "Annual Juried Exhibition" continues to be one of the Department of Visual Arts most highly anticipated undergraduate exhibitions. This diverse show supports the production of new work made in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, print, video, and photography. Exhibited works were selected by a professional jury who consider creativity, concept, materiality and technique. This year’s show is indicative of the resilience and dedication our students continue to demonstrate.

AJE 22 - Annual Juried Exhibition | artLAB Gallery


Poster Design: Chloe Serenko, artLAB Gallery Intern

bread, butter, tea, soup
artLAB Gallery
January 11  - 25, 2024
Presented by The Creative Food Research Collaboratory 

bread, butter, tea, soup is a gathering place and a series of food-based artistic interventions presented by the Creative Food Research Collaboratory. In the darkness of winter, before the light begins to return incrementally, we invite all to share in the warmth, comfort and complexity of food; to eat, learn, digest and imagine together.

bread, butter, tea, soup takes place within a convergence of handbuilt stalls, bringing to mind the farmers’ market or the tianguis where food and knowledge are shared. The stalls will form a stage, creating a space in which four artists will present a series of edible and critical interventions, the traces of which will be left behind to savour throughout the duration of the exhibition. 


Artistic activations include:

Maria Simmons and Katie Lawson: Bog Butter and Sourdough 
Friday 12 January 2024, 1-3pm 

Join artist Maria Simmons for a bog butter workshop and tasting, sampling a log preserved over the last year in a Mattawa, Ontario mire. Sourdough bread made with local grains by Katie Lawson will be shared as they discuss their intersecting interests in carbon-rich peatlands, ritual, fermentation, preservation and decay.

Elaine Chan-Dow: Five Flower Tea (五花茶)
Tuesday 16 January 2024, 1-3pm

This workshop and talk will be a creative exploration of the historical roots and contemporary importance of Five Flower Tea. We will examine Five Flower Tea (五花茶) through various senses (touch, smell, taste) and the lens of Chinese diasporic experiences.

Anahí González: Collective Soup / Sopa Colectiva
Thursday, 25 January 2024, 12 - 2pm

Where does our food come from? The Collective Soup / Sopa Colectiva stall within the gallery will function as a living space where people can contribute items for others to take freely during the exhibition. On the final day, we will prepare a collective soup using vegetables showcased in the show. The workshop aims to exchange personal anecdotes about vegetables and food while delving into the origins of produce in today’s Canada and enjoying a warm soup as a community. 

bread, butter, tea, soup | artLAB Gallery

 Documentation: Dickson Bou, artLAB Gallery Preparator 


Maria Simmons (she/they) is a hybrid artist who investigates potentialized environments through the creation of hybrid sculpture and installation. Their work embraces contamination as an act of collaboration. She collects garbage, grows yeast, ferments plants, and nurtures fruit flies. She makes art that eats itself. They hold an MFA from the University of Waterloo and a BFA from McMaster University. She has recently exhibited with the Visual Art Centre of Clarington, Gallery Stratford, Trinity Square Video, and Centre3. She has completed residencies at Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts (Norway), Mustarinda (Finland), BioArt Society (Finland), Silent Barn (USA), and Factory Media Centre (Canada).

Elaine Chan-Dow is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist and researcher. Her current work explores the intersection of cultural studies, botany, and art. Holding degrees in Urban Geography, Image Arts, and a Master of Fine Art, Chan-Dow's previous work, supported by an SSHRC grant, delved into the connection between objects and remembered history, particularly within the context of cognitive impairments. Her current research and artistic journey focuses on the intricate interplay between art, humanity, and the natural world, conveying a powerful message of biodiversity preservation and environmental sustainability. Her artwork is in institutions and private collections, including a recent installation at Butterfield Park, OCAD University. Chan-Dow's influence extends to her role as an educator within the Faculty of Arts at OCAD University.

Anahí González (she/her) is a Mexican visual artist based in London, ON. Her practice explores visual narratives about Mexican labour for/within Canada. She is a Research Associate of The Creative Food Research Collaboratory, contributor editor of The Embassy Cultural House, and an Art and Visual Culture Ph.D. candidate at Western University. Her work has been included in exhibitions and screenings in Mexico, Canada, the USA, Norway, Spain, and France.

Katie Lawson (she/her) is a curator and writer based in Toronto. She was a curator for the Toronto Biennial of Art, working with Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien on the inaugural 2019 and 2022 editions. She has also curated exhibitions at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (2024); Images Festival, Toronto (2023); MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie (2021); the Art Museum at the University of Toronto (2018); the Art Gallery of Ontario (2018); Y+ Contemporary, Scarborough (2017), and RYMD, Reykjavik (2017). Katie is a graduate of the Master of Visual Studies Curatorial program at the University of Toronto, where she previously completed her Master of Arts in Art History. She is currently working towards a PhD in Art and Visual Culture at Western University, with an interest in contemporary art and climate change. Lawson was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation Fogo Island Arts Young Curator Residency in 2023.

The Creative Food Research Collaboratory germinates collaborations at the intersection of art and food studies, exploring how the arts can imagine—and therefore help to achieve—food security, food sovereignty, and food justice in Canada. 

The Collaboratory is currently based at the Center for Sustainable Curating at Western University (London, Canada), and was co-initiated in 2022 by Dr. Amanda White and Dr. Zoë Heyn-Jones with Research Associates Anahí González and Katie Lawson. The Creative Food Research Collaboratory foregrounds collaboration as methodology and seeks to cultivate networks and structures that will allow collaborative artistic practices and knowledge mobilization strategies around food issues to take root and flourish. 

Our work includes academic research, public events, teaching and workshops, as well as fundraising for community food initiatives. Our forthcoming pilot project is a curated publication series that pairs artists and research-creation practitioners with food studies scholars, food policy makers, and grassroots organizers to create “recipes” to address the most pressing issues related to food justice and policy in Canada. 

Our work is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Cohen Commons
January 11  - 25, 2024

Curated by: Soheila Esfahani & Faseeh Saleem.

Anahí González, Anna Lidström, Erika Blomgren and Faseeh Saleem , Jessica Karuhanga, Karin Landahl & Stefanie Malmgren de Oliveira, Leith Mahkewa, Racquel Rowe, Vidmina Stasiulyte 

This exhibition brings together a group of artists from the Department of Visual Arts at Western University, London, Canada, and design researchers from the Body and Space Research Lab at the Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, Sweden. 

The artistic outputs focus on similarities between cultures, explorations of artefacts with connotations of cultural translation involving active processes of identification in terms of how materials and expressions are used to create relational aesthetics, and alternative approaches to modernity.  

DRAFTS 5: DIASPORIC BODIES | Cohen Commons Gallery

Documentation: Dickson Bou, artLAB Gallery Preparator 


Visual Pleasure with Dr. Jeff Preston and Erin Clark
artLAB Gallery
Presented in partnership with The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Monday, December 11 from 2-3PM

Register to attend.

Join us for a mind-blowing evening of captivating visuals and delightful insights with Dr. Jeff Preston and aerialist Erin Clark.

Visual Pleasure is an innovative hybrid aerial dance/lecture. Facing off against Associate Professor Dr. Preston aerialist and performance artist, Erin Clark, plays with a tension between academic authority and personal experience as ways of knowing oneself —in particular when the self is marginalized and positioned in society as an object of study and novelty. Visual Pleasure is a performance that asks how people experience themselves as ‘viewers’ —can our gaze bring life and nourishment to that upon which we gaze? Where is the authority —in the one who draws attention, or the one who gives it?


Performance artist Erin Clark is the world record holder in wheelchair parapole, gold and silver IPSF world champion and two-time gold medal winner in the Spanish National Pole Sport championships.  An aerial dancer for over a decade, Erin specializes in Aerial rope (corde lisse), aerial silks (tissu), and aerial pole. Erin co-created the aerial comedy duo Flaming Mermaid Broken Star - co-writing, choreographing and co-producing shows in New York City. Erin is the author of the NYTimes recommended memoir If You Really Love Me, Throw Me Off the Mountain (EyeCorner Press). She is currently based in London, Ontario.

Jeff Preston, Ph.D., is an associate professor and Acting Chair of Disability Studies at King's University College at Western University where he teaches classes on disability, popular culture and policy. Born with a rare neuro myopathy, Jeff is a long-time advocate and motivational speaker, giving talks across the country focused on the intersection of disability, subjectivity, biopower and culture. Jeff's first book, The Fantasy of Disability, was published in 2016 by Routledge.

Visual Pleasure | artLAB Gallery

Western Performs!
artLAB Gallery
Presented in partnership with Don Wright Faculty of Music and SASAH
Wednesday, December 6 from 12:30-1:30pm

Students of the Vocal Repertoire with Piano Class
Instructors: Dr. Margie Bernal,
Prof. Marianna Chibotar-Rutkevich.

Anzoletta avanti la regata                                                      
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
from "La regata Veneziana"
Janaki Butterworth, mezzo-soprano; Rachel Liu, piano

La Pastorella  
Patricia Wrigglesworth, soprano; Adam MacNeil, piano

O del mio amato ben                                                              
Stefano Donaudy (1879-1925)  
Diane Gorun, soprano; Maja Zbogar, piano

Lo spazzacamino                                                                     
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Madeleine David, soprano; Hayoon Kim, piano

Sage Gilliland, soprano; Eric Chan, piano

Pauline Viardot (1821-1910)
Emma Heaton, mezzo-soprano; Abigail Takenaka, piano

Danse macabre                                                                 
Camille St-Saëns (1835-1921)
Felix Stueckmann, baritone; Hayoon Kim, piano

Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Robert Hutson, tenor ; Jane Son, piano

L’invitation au voyage                                                                     
Henri Duparc (1848-1933)
Eliza Celis, soprano ; Jane Son, piano

Licht und Liebe                                                                             
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Olivia Mc Koy, soprano; Rebecca Crane, mezzo-soprano; Rosalia Li, piano

Die Meere                                                                                  
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Sarah Hua-Kam, soprano; Ocean Yi, baritone; Snow Xue Li, piano

Western Performs! | artLAB Gallery

Non-Stop Digital Flickerings
Sam Wagter, MFA thesis show
November 23 - December 7, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 23 from 5-7PM
artLAB Gallery

“Gnash the mesh that binds her. Quench the icy iron. Her mind is a matrix of non-stop digital flickerings.”1

I see my computer not as a tool for creation but rather, as an extension of myself. I have never been separated from computer technology and the internet. I view my artistic practice as a body of code, each piece of art or writing is a function I’ve added, indicated by the semicolon atier each title of the artwork and pieces of writing I create. I am not searching for the defined but, rather, I am welcoming infinity, endlessness, or ‘void’. Non-Stop Digital Flickerings looks between the binaries, into the ‘void’, and explores the glitches which reside inside. ‘Void’ is the space found within the gaps of these coded structures. It is the in-between space. This space embraces those who fall into multiple labels or identities - those who are not white, those who are not cisgender, those who are not straight, those who are not men, those who feel restricted or suppressed by the social standards implemented long before their time, those who want to free themselves from a binary way of thinking, and those who seek to live within the in-between.

Non-Stop Digital Flickerings | artLAB Gallery

Misha, “Wire Movement #9.” In Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk & Postmodern Science Fiction, Larry McCaffery, ed. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991), 113.

Exploring Modern and Craft Art in London’s Cathedral’s
November 23 - December 7, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 23 from 5-7PM
Cohen Commons

In our exhibit “Exploring Modern and Craft Art in London’s Cathedral’s” we consider the art and purpose of two chapels within our community. The chapels, Our Lady and St. Aidan’s, are small sites of worship that are part of the larger Catholic and Anglican cathedrals of St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s, respectively. Contrasting the larger Gothic and Romanesque inspired century-old cathedrals, the mid to late twentieth-century chapels adopt more modern aesthetics in their design and adornment.

In Our Lady Chapel, the multidisciplinary artist Philip Aziz adopts a Modernist aesthetic in his design. From iron works to wooden sculptures to a monumental tempera painting on the Virgin Mary, the Chapel’s modernist feel presents a striking and stark contrast to the ornate and large cathedral of St. Peter’s. The chapel both celebrates Aziz’s modernist style while convey his spirituality at the seat of the Catholic Diocese of London.

By contrast, the neutral-coloured walls of the Anglican Chapel of St. Aidan’s are decorated with pictorial textiles produced by the local embroidery artist Betty McLeod. McLeod, the founder of the Canadian Embroiderer’s Guild in London, interest in St. Aidan spurred by her travels in Northumbria, McLeod set out to produce nine embroideries of iconic moments of the saint’s life. McLeod's works recognize her spiritual commitment to the church as well as her devotion to textile arts.

The exploration considers the modern styles of these local artists, their chapels, and our local history.


Exploring Modern and Craft Art in London’s Cathedrals | Cohen Commons

In the Heart of the Bronze: A Liu Shiming Experience
Curated by Ashar Mobeen, PhD candidate
artLAB Gallery 
Reception: Thursday, October 26 from 5-7PM
Panel Disucssion between Yam Lau and Ashar Mobeen from 7-8PM
Exhibition: October 26 – November 16, 2023
Presented in partnership with the Liu Shiming Art Foundation.

In the Heart of the Bronze: A Liu Shiming Experience
showcases twenty-six bronze artworks meticulously crafted by the brilliant Chinese sculptor, Liu Shiming, throughout his lifetime. These remarkable sculptures embody Shiming's distinct style and delve into the realm of sculpture techniques he pioneered and advocated, known as "Chinese methods." By doing so, the exhibition aims to highlight the diligent efforts and valuable contributions made by Chinese sculptors and the Central Academy of Fine Arts to the global sculpture scene. Visitors will also gain insights into the century-long modernization of Chinese sculpture, which possesses a distinctive essence rooted in traditional and local experiences. This approach stands in stark contrast to the prevalent Western narratives, thereby augmenting the heterogeneity of narratives within the realm of global contemporary art history.

Read "Partnership brings Chinese sculptor’s work to Western for first stop on Canadian tour" by Jo Jennings in Western News! 


Liu Shiming, Looking at Each Other Through the Cage 相望, 1990.

Liu Shiming (1926-2010) was a revered Chinese sculptor, whose works have made a distinct impact on the course of modern Chinese sculpture art. Born in 1926, Shiming attended the Central Academy of Fine. As early as 1950, Shiming received international recognition for his work Measuring Land, and there after, Shiming continued to make large-scale and publicly displayed sculptures. In the 1960s, Shiming resided in the countryside of Henan and Hebei provinces, where he gained a unique perspective on the working class and rural life. His time outside of the city, and closely handling folk art works in local museums, inspired Shiming to focus on everyday scenes in his works, becoming a common theme of Shiming sculptures. Today, Shiming is recognized for his ability to beautifully capture the most mundane scenes, as well as his aptitude for fusing folk traditions with modern sensibilities.

Yam Lau is a Hong Kong-born, Toronto-based multimedia artist. He is currently an associate professor at York University. Lau’s creative work explores new expressions and qualities of space, time, and the image. His recent works involve video and computer-generated animation to create spaces in varied dimensionalities and perspectives. A recipient of awards from the Canada, Ontario, and Toronto arts councils, Lau has also exhibited widely across Canada, mainland China, and Europe. 

In the Heart of the Bronze: A Liu Shiming Experience | artLAB Gallery

Documentation: Dickson Bou, artLAB Gallery


彷徨 [páng huáng] | to pace

Curated by Elina Zhou / Cohen Commons

Reception: Thursday, October 26 from 5-7PM
Exhibition: October 26 – November 16, 2023

Featuring work by: Sophie Wu, Gratiana Chen and Elina Zhou

Crisis is an exhibition focused around exploring the experiences of Chinese Canadians/Americans who undergo difficulties around finding belonging and coming to terms with their intersectional identity. "To pace" is a saying in Chinese, describing the act of hesitation and contemplation through pacing back and forth. I feel that this is the exact movement felt by those who undergo this continuous identity-crisis. The show consists of printmaking pieces, interactive installations that portray various aspects of contemplating and balancing one's identity and shows imagery from both sides.

彷徨 [páng huáng] | to pace

 Documentation: Dickson Bou, artLAB Gallery

Static UnearthedMFA Group Exhibition
artLAB Gallery
Exhibition: October 5 - 19, 2023 
Reception: Thursday, October 5 from 5-7PM

Our offerings have been dug up from a collective desire to communicate visually through tangible materials. We play with representation. Our work invites and disrupts. There is a resistance to stagnation and an impulse to transform the given through care. A single moment is drawn out into a cinematic meditation. Violation gives birth to an abundance of resilient creatures. Abandoned construction materials become fantasy islands. The deceased are resurrected as dandelions. 

Static Unearthed - MFA Group Exhibition | artLAB Gallery

As a multimedia artist, Hannah West (she/her) emphasizes objects and transitional moments in liminal spaces during the day-to-day by accentuating colour, reflection, and lighting. Through her work she evokes feelings of comfort by distilling these fleeting moments and inspiring the viewer to reflect.

Brittany/Andrew Forrest (she/her or he/him) probes the question ‘What lives within the silence of our perceptions?’ by appraising reactions between interactions that coerce the human condition. Forrest realizes the comprehensive terrain that is identity to actualize autonomy. These ideas that apprehend we within humanity are solidified into character development, which then stage a narrative that activates the imagination – the vibrancy of the fantastical and grimness of the autobiographical speak to the alienating elements within queerness.

As an artist, Steve DeBruyn (he/him) likes to take his materials to task. He describes it as “a smash and grab situation in reverse; grab comes first, then smash, then art, hey-oooo!” Steve believes he has spent way too much time wading in the Thames River for his art. He has yet to contract any illnesses as a result.

Jessica Irene Joyce’s (she/her) paintings suggest a gentle path of curiosity between ecological grief and care. Earnest, colourful, grounded in a strong drawing foundation, her studio practice blends her perception of the outer world with the magic of her inner world.

#artLAB publication series <06> 

Static Unearthed
Hannah West, Brittany/Andrew Forrest, Steve DeBruyn and Jessica Irene Joyce
October 5 -19, 2023
artLAB Gallery

Tensions Materials Conversations
Written by Anahí González 

download the PDF


The paradox of progress / Cohen Commons
Curated by Amelie Swayze
Exhibition: October 5 - 19, 2023 
Reception: Thursday, October 5 from 5-7PM

Jack Cocker, Bridget Lisa Puhacz, Chloe Serenko and Amelie Swayze

The paradox of progress explores the notion that as society advances, it simultaneously generates
new challenges. This paradox examines the intricate relationship between societal advancement and
a growing sense of discontent and unhappiness. Despite the abundance of time-saving innovations
and advanced methods for interpersonal connectivity throughout modern society, people
consistently express heightened feelings of isolation and stress. An excess of options and
technological advancements has overwhelmed society, making it increasingly difficult for
individuals to form meaningful connections with one another.

The Paradox of Progress, aims to exemplify our rapidly advancing society whilst highlighting the
negative consequences these innovations have on our collective well-being and sense of community.

The paradox of progress | Cohen Commons

Achy Awfulness 
Rylee Rumble, MFA Thesis Exhibition
artLAB Gallery

September 8 – 28, 2023 
Opening Reception: Friday, September 8 from 4-6PM

Achy Awfulness looks at how MFA Candidate, Rylee Rumble, uses colour in her painting practice to archive her raw and vulnerable experiences with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Having colour be the signifier for memories, feelings, emotions, and objects that pertain to Rumble’s mental health while painting has allowed for her to project her experiences onto the canvas essentially creating a physical archive; one that allows for the artist to shed the weight she is carrying and working through.

 Rylee Rumble - Achy Awfulness, MFA Thesis Exhibition | artLAB GalleryDocumentation: Dickson Bou, Gallery Prepartor

Cohen Commons
Presented in partnership with Western Sustainability
September 8 – 28, 2023 

 is an interactive art exhibit linking Canada, South Africa, and broader Africa, while inviting visitors to respond and build on the works as co-creators of knowledge towards water justice. The exhibit showcases creative translations of key themes from the 2023 Confluency conference held in Cape Town, South Africa. 

This fall the exhibit is coming to Riverfest 2023! Local community members can submit pieces that will supplement the Confluency Colloquium and speak to water justice. The goal of this collaborative exhibition is to raise awareness, spark discussion, and inspire positive change within London and the broader community.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at 5:00 - 7:00pm

Join us for an evening of poetry, spoken word, music and other artistic expressions, as the campus community comes together to honor Deshkan Ziibi and the significance of water itself in a warm and inviting atmosphere. This event will take place in the Cohen Commons area of the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre.  

RiverFest2023 - Confluency  | Cohen Commons GalleryDocumentation: Dickson Bou, Gallery Prepartor