The Power Plant

The Power Plant announces free public programs to engage visitors with its Winter 2023 exhibitions

JAN 10 2023

Includes talks, workshops, screenings, performances, and opportunities to meet artists Brenda Draney, Amartey Golding, Rouzbeh Akhbari, Joi T. Arcand, Aylan Couchie, Simon Fuh, Anique Jordan, and Julia Rose Sutherland.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, is proud to announce its public programming for Winter 2023, offering opportunities for everyone to engage in the topics, themes, and creative practices highlighted in its exhibitions from February 3 to May 14, 2023.

As part of its year-long 35th anniversary, The Power Plant is presenting two solo exhibitions. Brenda Draney, an Edmonton-based Cree artist from Sawridge First Nation, is premiering six newly commissioned works, and Amartey Golding, a UK-based multidisciplinary artist, is debuting his first solo exhibition in Canada. The gallery is also presenting the first installment of the two-part group exhibition in parallel, featuring six Ontario-based artists: Rouzbeh Akhbari, Joi T. Arcand, Aylan Couchie, Simon Fuh, Anique Jordan, and Julia Rose Sutherland.

The public programs accompanying the Winter 2023 season include a series of conversations with the exhibiting artists; a master class with Brenda Draney for Ontario-based artists; a screening of the TIFF-premiered film The Maiden (2022), written and directed by Graham Foy; and a special performance in response to Amartey Golding's exhibition. Sunday Scene and Power Kids will continue to take place on select Sundays throughout the season.

Brenda Draney, Visit, 2021.JPG

Brenda Draney, Visit, 2021. Oil on canvas, 170 x 277 cm. Courtesy Gage and Luke Allard. Image courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.

“The Power Plant’s longstanding public programs, such as Power Kids and Sunday Scene, continue to offer accessible entry points into conversations about contemporary art, while artist talks, screenings, and performances provide opportunities for deeper engagements with the exhibitions. We hope everyone will make the most of these offerings throughout the winter months.”
—Carolyn Vesely, Interim Director

“The Winter 2023 exhibitions explore many sensitive yet timely subjects, including intimacy, generational trauma, and the lasting effects of colonialism. Through a broad range of talks, workshops, and events, The Power Plant continues to facilitate conversations on the critical issues of our times, whether that’s with children, first-time visitors, or experienced art enthusiasts and local artists.”
—Adelina Vlas, Head of Curatorial Affairs

Amartey Golding, Bring Me To Heal 2, 2021. Courtesy the artist..jpg

Amartey Golding, Bring Me To Heal 2, 2021. Courtesy the artist.

Amartey Golding
In the comfort of embers

Amartey Golding’s first solo exhibition in Canada features three films: Chainmail 3, 2018, from his Chainmail series, and Bring Me to Heal 1 and 2, 2021. These moving-image works are accompanied by two sculptures, which are garments seen in the films, as well as photographs that elaborate on the imagery and narratives in the projections.

The selection of works in this exhibition reveals Golding’s engagement with intimacy, vulnerability, and physical strength. Using his mixed heritage and his family history as a starting point, the artist documents his introspective process of identifying and understanding the fundamental unifying themes of humanity: fear, love, care for kin, dreams, and desires. By incorporating particular materials, movements, sounds, and oral storytelling, he exposes viewers to his artistic process—a communal act that pushes all those involved to imagine beyond what they believe they are capable of. Both the making and the witnessing of Golding’s works serve as a form of healing from generational trauma, while the works themselves interrogate its origins.

Brenda Draney
Drink from the river

Drink from the river, Brenda Draney’s first solo exhibition at The Power Plant, features a selection of existing and newly commissioned works that examine the complex nature of intimacy. Referencing her own memories and experiences living in Edmonton, the artist explores the layered meanings embedded in everyday motifs and situations. However, instead of simply reproducing these elements, Draney is more interested in addressing how their meanings can shift when filtered through individual interpretation. Furthermore, by deliberately leaving blank spaces in her paintings, Draney leaves room for viewers to deeply reflect on the subject matter presented. Audiences are invited to connect to the wide range of emotions tied to the nuanced experience of intimacy that the artist explores in her works.

Drink from the river thus not only considers how memory shapes identity but suggests that nostalgia—the pain stemming from the desire to recreate something from the past—can lead to a more profound understanding of oneself. Draney's commitment to representing critical moments from her life and the life of her community, as seen in her conscientious and sensitive approach to painting, makes her one of the most notable contemporary artists of her generation.

in parallel
Rouzbeh Akhbari, Joi T. Arcand, Aylan Couchie, Simon Fuh, Anique Jordan, and Julia Rose Sutherland

in parallel is a group exhibition that brings together six artists from Tkaronto and surrounding areas. Rouzbeh Akhbari, Joi T. Arcand, Aylan Couchie, Simon Fuh, Anique Jordan, and Julia Rose Sutherland explore how visual documentation and cultural practices can reclaim the narratives of their respective communities despite colonialism’s persistence. The artists’ pursuit of alternative histories reflects a desire to preserve connections to lands, peoples, and ways of living that mould who they are. In doing so, they also highlight the impact of oppressive forces on numerous communities around the world that continue to resist erasure by undertaking land-based resistance.

These artists and works have been brought together as a way of finding the commonalities and differences among various forms of resistance in times of crises. How do we put differing liberation movements in dialogue to find the shared experiences that can make all of us co-conspirators, comrades, and allies? In her photographs, Anique Jordan confronts racist stereotypes with intimate portraits of Black people, while Julia Rose Sutherland engages with Indigenous traditions and knowledge to create sculptures that foster a collective healing. Joi T. Arcand reclaims Indigenous land with a site-specific commission that marks The Power Plant’s Fleck Clerestory with affirmations in nēhiyawēwin (Cree), while Simon Fuh’s vinyls retrace the original paths of two rivers in Ontario that colonists rerouted. Works by Rouzbeh Akhbari and sculptures by Aylan Couchie reveal how nation-states continuously disrupt lands and people.

in parallel is the first of two exhibitions that will present the work of twelve local artists, evoking The Power Plant’s very first exhibition, Toronto: A Play of History (Jeu d’histoire), 1987. Both of the 2023 exhibitions will bring together tensions, hopes, and the transformative spaces artists create in the unfolding aftermath of settler colonialism. Specifically, in parallel will highlight the intimate connections between land and body, while expressing each artist’s desire for changes that can lead to an intercommunal future.

Julia Rose Sutherland, Flesh Economics, 2018. Neon sign, 62.6 x 62.2 x 15.2 cm. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Mike Love.

Julia Rose Sutherland, Flesh Economics, 2018. Neon sign, 62.6 x 62.2 x 15.2 cm. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Mike Love.

Winter 2023 Public Programs:

  • Artist Workshop: Master class with Brenda Draney for practicing artists
  • Artist Talk: Brenda Draney in conversation with Jacqueline Kok
  • Artist Talk: Amartey Golding in conversation with Joséphine Denis
  • Artist Panel Discussion: in parallel artists Rouzbeh Akhbari, Joi T. Arcand, Aylan Couchie, Simon Fuh, Anique Jordan, and Julia Rose Sutherland engage in a lively discussion
  • Members Event: Artist-led tour of in parallel
  • Film Screening: The Maiden (2022), written and directed by Graham Foy
  • Performance: A performance in response to the work of Amartey Golding
  • Power Kids: Workshops for children aged 7–12 on select Sundays throughout the season
  • Sunday Scene: Thought leaders from the art world and beyond respond to the exhibitions For dates, times, and details on how to register, keep checking our Event Calendar and social media for updates.