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Future of Work: Letters from the Land and Water

August 31, 2022 - December 16, 2022

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  • Jagdeep Raina
  • TheLakeAndTheLake_1
  • 2020_Life+Preserver_Production+Stills_Master_4

August 31 – December 16, 2022

Alvin Luong
Audie Murray
Jagdeep Raina
Sindhu Thirumalaisamy 

Curated by Simranpreet Anand and Srimoyee Mitra

Opening Reception: Friday September 9th, 7 – 9 pm 

This exhibition brings together works by Alvin Luong, Audie Murray, Jagdeep Raina and, Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, and probes the intersections between material culture, the natural environment, and economies that surround them. Their methodologies range between painting, video, sculpture, and embroidery. Each navigates the reality of an unstable living and working conditions that reveals the precarity of labour that has been propelled  by global capitalism with local repercussions and fallout.  

The culture of violence and volatility embedded in precarious work is echoed by the artists in the following ways: Thirumalaisamy’s experimental film The Lake and the Lake exposes the discrepancies between Bangalore’s technology boom-propelled luxury culture and the lives of those who live beyond the walls of the towering “Silicon Valley of India”. Raina’s archival references lay bare the working conditions that Punjabi farmers have endured in both Punjab and Canada in the age of mechanised farming. Both Raina and Murray’s intricate use of handiwork reflects the reclamation of practices that include beadwork, phulkari, and dhurrie that have been interrupted through colonial industrial violence. Murray’s work responds to the capitalist structure that has monetized Indigenous arts and crafts; her beading of gloves and other everyday objects are an act of reclamation and resistance. These haptic qualities continue to resonate throughout Luong’s work with a hand-tied life vest made of buoyant meatballs. Luong’s work invokes the freighters along the South China Sea and confronts us with the entangled and complex histories of food, migration, and labour.

The Future of Work: Letters to the Land and Water is part one of a three-part exhibition series presented by the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre (WAHC) in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Burlington that examines how the pandemic has affected labour markets, quality of life, and the future of work as we know it. Developed by the curatorial collective of Suzanne Carte (AGB), Srimoyee Mitra (Ann Arbour, MI), Simranpreet Anand (Surrey, BC) and Adrienne Huard (Winnipeg, MB), the three distinct exhibitions use interactive stations, film, photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations to open conversations on precarious labour, parallel economies, and labour futurisms.

Future of Work: Parallel Economies curated by Suzanne Carte opens at the Art Gallery of Burlington August 26 and runs until December 31.

Future of Work: Labour Futurisms curated by Adrienne Huard opens at WAHC on February 1, 2023.


Please click on the green program titles for more information on each program.

Floetry: A workshop for water and words
Saturday September 10
10am – 12pm
Facilitated by Danielle Boissoneau
in person, all welcome

This interactive workshop is designed to reflect the beauty of our natural world while doing the work of identifying our responsibilities to protect these wonders. Using words, we’ll flow for the water. We’ll use art as a method of reclamation and community building.  We will determine how to integrate artistic practice with action towards sustainable futures. We’ll be practicing how to be a good ancestor.

Contemporary Art Bus Tour
Saturday September 24
1pm – 4:40pm
in person, pre-registration required HERE

Join us for a FREE bus tour making stops at Hamilton Artists’ Inc., The Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, The McMaster Museum of Art, and the Art Gallery of Burlington. Pre-registration required. Please register only if you plan on using our bus service. Seating is limited. Travel and admission is free. Pre-register by clicking HERE


1pm-1:40pm: Hamilton Artists Inc.
1:45-2:25: Workers Arts and Heritage Centre
2:40-3:20: McMaster Museum of Art
3:40-4:20: Art Gallery of Burlington
4:40: Return to Hamilton Artists Inc.

Self Care Day for Workers and Organizers
Saturday December 3
Pre-registration Required HERE

Join us for a FREE self-care day designed for workers and organizers. The day will begin with a guided tour of our main gallery exhibition ‘Future of Work: Letters from the Land and Water.’ This will be followed by an interactive art activity led by Sonali Menezes. The day will finish with a somatics, meditation and breathing practice led by Indu Vashist.

Attendance is completely free. Pre-registration is required. Please register only if you plan on attending the self-care day. Pre-register by clicking on the link HERE.


Simranpreet Anand is an artist, curator, and cultural worker creating and working on the unceded territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo peoples (Surrey). She holds a BFA Honours in Visual Arts along with a second major in Psychology from the University of British Columbia and is starting at the Stamps School of Art and Design as an MFA Fine Arts student.

Alvin Luong works with stories of human migration, land, and dialogues from diasporic working class communities to create artworks that reflect upon historical development and its intimate effects on the lives of people. Luong has shown and screened artworks at the Images Festival (Toronto), Boers-Li Gallery (Beijing), Gudskul (Jakarta), and The Polygon Gallery (Vancouver). The artist has held research and resident artist appointments at the Inside-Out Art Museum (Beijing), HB Station Contemporary Art Research Center (Guangzhou), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), and Gallery TPW (Toronto).

Srimoyee Mitra is a curator and writer whose work is invested in building empathy and mutual respect by bringing together meaningful and diverse works of art and design. She develops ambitious and socially relevant projects that mobilize the agency within creative practices and public audiences. She is currently the Director at University of Michigan’s Stamps Gallery in Ann Arbor.

Audie Murray is a relative, dreamer, skin-stitcher and Michif visual artist based in Oskana kâ-asastêki (Regina, Saskatchewan; Treaty 4 territory). Her practice is informed by the process of making and visiting to explore themes of contemporary culture, embodied experiences and lived dualities. These modes of working assist with the recentering of our collective connection to the body, ancestral knowledge systems, space and time. She has exhibited widely, including at the Independent Art Fair, NYC; The Vancouver Art Gallery; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; and the Anchorage Museum. Murray is represented by Fazakas Gallery on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory (Vancouver, B.C.).

Jagdeep Raina is an artist and writer from Guelph, Ontario. He holds an MFA in painting from RISD and was a 2021 Paul Mellon Fellow at Yale University. Raina has been an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Madison Maine, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the Camden Arts Centre/Slade School of Fine Art in London; and the Miriam Dawood School of Art and Design in Lahore, Pakistan. Raina currently lives and works in Houston, Texas where he is a 2021-2023 Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

Sindhu Thirumalaisamy is an artist and filmmaker whose work centres (un)common spaces and the possibilities for speech and action with/in them. She has worked in relation to hospitals, parks, streets, kitchens, temples, mosques, lakes and roadsides—spaces that hold potential for collective resistance and care. Her 2019 film, The Lake and The Lake, won the jury award for Best Documentary at the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival.

WAHC wishes to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Hamilton, the Province of Ontario, CUPE, the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, the Canada Council for the Arts, OSSTF and ONA for their support of our exhibitions and ancillary programs.

For more information, please contact Sonali Menezes, Program and Exhibitions Specialist, at (905) 522-3003 ex. 29 or sonali@wahc-museum.ca

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