Part of Agnes’s Wellness Program
INTRO X DJ, Songs of the Gullah Campaign Image, 2020. Courtesy of the artist
Slow down! Deeply observe works of art in History Is Rarely Black or White. Guided by a community facilitator, this contemplation practice allows for relaxation and new insights. Part of Agnes’s Wellness Program.
History Is Rarely Black or White interrogates cotton garments in the Queen’s Collection of Canadian Dress through archival research and scientific analysis that connects these materials to resource extraction, Indigenous displacement, enslaved labour, and the Underground Railroad. This history is also shown through tintypes and artifacts.
The exhibition engages contemporary art and fashion to examine colonial history and envision a radically positive future. Artists Karin Jones, Gordon Shadrach, and Damian Joel demonstrate the manner in which the burden of colonial history entwines itself in research, making and cultural heritage. Jones and Shadrach discuss the ongoing legacies of oppression that created the global cotton industry. Joel mines the history of enslavement, migration and making in his fashion story, Songs of the Gullah. The inclusion of his work brings the exhibition full circle by juxtaposing the collections at Agnes with contemporary pieces based on similar networks of relation.