The University of Winnipeg



Virtual exhibit explores race, gender, diaspora, globalization and disconnects

Gallery 1C03's virtual exhibit features several engaging online events

Sanctuaries (Credit: Odudu Umoessien).

UWinnipeg’s Gallery 1C03 presents a contemporary custom designed virtual architectural space that features works by women-identified artists.

Sanctuaries, A Virtual Exhibition Curated by Patterns Collective can be viewed online until December 19, 2021. 

We’ve learned that it’s possible to push beyond the limits of a physical exhibition space.

Jennifer Gibson

“The exhibition Sanctuaries is meant to be a safe space where conversations of body, identity and greater abstract ideas can take place. These artists’ works take us into another world, reimagining what a gallery space can look like and can hold,” said the curators of Patterns Collective, which includes Chukwudubem Ukaigwe, Curatorial Practices student Shaneela Boodoo, and past UWSA Executive member Mahlet Cuff.

The immersive and interactive online space was built by architectural designer Odudu Umoessien and features work by artists Anique Jordan, Akum Maduka and Rajni Perera.   

“Gallery 1C03 has been fortunate to work with the dynamic team of Patterns Collective and remarkable artists Jordan, Maduka, Perera and Umoessien,” said Gallery 1C03 Director/Curator Jennifer Gibson. “Sanctuaries is unlike anything we’ve done before and I strongly encourage folks to experience this engaging interactive space and the artists’ powerful work within it.”

The presentation of this exhibition in a virtual space is key to the curatorial intention of Patterns Collective, and includes several online events to expand discussion and reflection on intersecting identities such as race, gender, diaspora, globalization and its disconnects.

For example, an engaging online discussion between the curators and artists took place on September 29 and can be watched on Gallery 1C03’s You Tube playlist.

On November 10 at 9:30 am, Sanctuaries artist Akum Maduka will join UWinnipeg student Rachel Smith and other students in Dr. Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba’s class on Genocide and Postcolonial Witnessing in a zoom webinar open to the public. Together, they will engage with Akum’s artistic visions and commitments and questions about postcolonial perspectives to representations of female oppression and disappearances.

This exhibition revisits the idea of the self-gaze in digital realms and explores agency in self-portrayal and self-determination.

Sanctuaries explores how Jordan, Maduka and Perera express perceptions of the female body within a contemporary frame removed from conventionality. Each artist’s work addresses themes of the body and identity from a lens pointing back at their singular and collective selves, given the harsh realities faced by racialized bodies navigating colonial spaces.

The exhibition’s website and affiliated online programming will be in multiple community spaces that open discussions and help create community building, storytelling, desire and social performances.

“The pandemic has caused art galleries, Gallery 1C03 included, to explore new ways of engaging with viewers,” said Gibson. “We’ve learned that it’s possible to push beyond the limits of a physical exhibition space, and also to think more broadly about how we share creative research and our role within multiple communities.”

Upcoming online events

Vanishing: A Conversation with Akum Maduka, November 10, 2021 at 9:30 am CST
Presented with with The University of Winnipeg Women’s and Gender Studies department.

Hassaan Ashraf and Shaneela Boodoo in Conversation with Rajni Perera, December 14, 2021
Presented with Take Home BIPOC Arts House.

Visit Sanctuaries for more information. 


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