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February 9 @ 8:00 am - April 13 @ 5:00 pm

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Hiba Abdallah, test for Same Difference, polyester fabric, grommets, 2023, Collection of the Artist.

Join us for Declaration, a group exhibition celebrating banners as tools of protest and unity.

Featuring the work of artists Hiba AbdallahGiniw (Graham) Paradis, L Vinebaum, and Lan "Florence" Yee.

Opening Reception: Friday, February 9, 2024, 6:30-8:30 pm 

Declarations state claims, pronounce intentions, and share information on the state of affairs. People have moved messages through time and space by raising banners in declarative acts in streets and union halls, in expressions of protest, grief, celebration and unity.

This exhibition celebrates the act of voicing a demand, standing together, making a petition, and mourning collective loss. Each banner looks back and looks forward, connecting ways in which declarative acts continue to unite and divide us.

Inspiration for this exhibition arose from the companion digital exhibition, All Together Now! Banners of the Labour Movement.

Hiba Abdallah is a text-based artist who often works collaboratively. Her practice explores the systemic and structural legacies of public life by researching the intersections of hospitality, agitation, and disagreement as productive frameworks for re-imagining collective agency. She has created work across media—from public interventions to community projects, gallery exhibitions, and publications.

Her recent exhibitions and public projects include 100 years then and hereafter at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Everything I Wanted to Tell You for Nuit Blanche Scarborough, Rehearsing Disagreement for MOCA Toronto and A List of Antagonisms for the CAFKA Biennial in Kitchener, ON. She currently lives and works as an uninvited guest on the traditional land of the Anishinaabe, the Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississauga’s of the Credit River.

Giniw (Graham) Paradis (he/him) is Michif/Wiisaakodewin from Penetanguishene with ancestral ties to Lesser Slave Lake, AB and the Red River Settlement. He is a citizen of the Metis Nation of Ontario. Giniw has been beading since 2012 as a self-taught artist and started mentoring under Naomi Smith (Chippewas of Nawash, Neyaashiinigmiing Unceded Territory) in 2014. His beadwork and quillwork have been featured in museums nationally and internationally.

L Vinebaum (they/them) is a scholar, artist, educator and activator working at the intersections of textiles and politics. Their transdisciplinary practice spans multiple media and forms including textile banners, visual essays, prints, vinyl, text-based installations, neon, performance, scholarly research and writing, teaching, curating, collaborations, and organizational leadership. Their projects often draw inspiration from collective organizing in the textile and garment industries, in particular campaigns by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. L Vinebaum is an Associate Professor of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the co-Vice President of the Textile Society of America. They hold a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Lan “Florence” Yee is a visual artist and cultural worker based in Tkaronto/Toronto & Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. They collect text in underappreciated places and ferment it until it is too suspicious to ignore. Lan’s work has been exhibited at the Darling Foundry (2022), the Toronto Museum of Contemporary Art (2021), the Art Gallery of Ontario (2020), the Textile Museum of Canada (2020), and the Gardiner Museum (2019), among others. They co-founded the Institute of Institutional Critique with Mattia Zylak in 2019 and the Chinatown Biennial with Arezu Salamzadeh in 2020. They obtained a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from OCAD U. Lan has been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Council for the Arts, and the Toronto Arts Council. They are a recipient of the William and Meredith Saunderson Prizes for Emerging Artists (2023).

View the exhibition essay text composed by Danica Evering and designed by Greg Smith here.

View the interpretive Guide for All Ages created to accompany this exhibition (coming soon).

Download the exhibition poster here.

Join us for a series of ancillary programs presented in support of Declaration.

Second Saturday for Families We All Belong: Banner Making Workshop with Becky Katz, Saturday, February 10, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Create your own banner with stylo starr, Kate Jackson and Greg Smith, Saturday March 23, 1:00 - 4:00 pm REGISTER HERE

Aram Han Sifuentes: Sewing the Message Banners as a Medium for Change, a virtual artist talk on Thursday, March 28, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm EDT via Zoom REGISTER HERE

L Vinebaum: Archive as Inspiration What the International Ladies Garment Workers Union Teaches Us About Past and Present Labour Movements, a virtual artist talk on Thursday, April 9, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm EDT via Zoom REGISTER HERE

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Ontario for Declaration.  We also extend our thanks to CUPE National, the Canada Council for the Arts and OSSTF for their support of our exhibitions and ancillary programs.

For more information, please contact Sylvia Nickerson, Programming and Exhibitions Specialist, at (905) 522-3003 ex. 29 or sylvia@wahc-museum.ca


51 Stuart Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8L 1B5       905.522.3003       Public Hours: Click here