Workers Arts and Heritage Centre is pleased to present Daily Bread, an exhibition of new anthotypes by Toronto-based artist Teresa Ascencao, highlighting the labour of Portuguese-Canadian immigrants.
Curated by Abedar Kamgari
Portuguese-Canadians have contributed to the building and functioning of Canadian cities for decades, often enduring physically demanding jobs to put food on the table. They are cooks, homemakers, in-house childcare workers, cleaners, and construction and garment workers. Their strong presence in both Hamilton and Toronto is marked not only by a distinct cultural heritage, but also by their humility and community values.
Inspired by this history, and drawing on her own Azorean and Portuguese-Canadian background, Teresa uses her privilege as an artist to depict the work and the hands behind the work. She makes light-sensitive emulsions from plants used in traditional Azorean and Portuguese foods, which become key ingredients that help create anthotype images when exposed to sunlight. The process of creating the ephemeral anthotypes can take several weeks to complete, and is reminiscent of the patience and care involved in preparing food for loved ones every day. By capturing a fragment of local workers’ routines, Daily Bread brings to light their individual stories, highlighting the often-invisible labour of the Portuguese-Canadian diaspora in Hamilton and Toronto.
This exhibition is accompanied by an essay by Abedar Kamgari.
Please join us for the public opening reception of Daily Bread on Friday, May 11th from 7-9 pm.
Daily Bread will be accompanied by a dynamic Spring/Summer program. Keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for more information.
Teresa Ascencao is a multimedia artist whose work toys with social constructs of body language, costume, socially inscribed objects and spaces, and inner corporeal experiences. Her folk and pop inspired artworks employ concept-specific media and technologies that invite audiences to play with iconographies and scenarios involving gender, seduction, consumption, and class. Born to Azorean parents in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ascencao immigrated to Canada at a young age. She lives and works in Toronto and teaches at OCADU.
Abedar Kamgari is an artist, independent curator, and arts worker based in Hamilton and Toronto.
This exhibition and its auxiliary programming is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Hamilton Community Foundation. The artist would like to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council for their support.
For more information about this exhibition and its auxiliary programming, contact Tara Bursey, Program Coordinator at (905) 522-3003 ex. 29 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Teresa Ascencao, Bruno, Construction Worker. Beet root on paper, 22 x 30”, 2017.