London gallery marks Worldwide Ladies’s Day with group present – London Free Press (Blogs)

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Jen Hamilton is a mother of two school-age boys.

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And she’s known other mothers who’ve informed her art, which is part of a group exhibition celebrating International Women’s Day March 8 at Westland Gallery.

Works by 21 women artists from the region are included in the show that continues until March 12 with a reception Saturday and a virtual artist talk March 9.

“It all has to do with motherhood, depicting the mothers in my family history,” said Hamilton, an artist who teaches drawing and the business side of art at Fanshawe College and is a past artist-in-residence for the London Arts Council.

“Within my practice, I explore, emphasize and visualize themes of motherhood, maternal ancestry, genetic memory, and stress. This project has evolved with a multi-disciplinary approach using printmaking, painting and drawing. I am interested in examining personal, ancestral, maternal experiences and memories of those experiences that may have been transferred through generations, including fears, phobias, mental health and intuition.”

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Other featured artists include Angie Quick, Agneta Dolman, Antje Laidler, Bonnie Parkinson, Cheryl Radford, Danielle Hoevenaars, Donna Andreychuk, Erica Dornbusch, Genet Hodder, Johnnene Maddison, Kelly Greene, Marcy Saddy, Meredith Milton, Pat Deadman, Rosemary Sloot, Selma Popovic, Valda Christine Glennie.

The exhibition also includes works from the estates of Margot Ariss (courtesy of Michael Gibson Gallery), Patience Morrisey, and kerry ferris.

“The work spans multiple decades by bringing together brand new works by local, emerging and established artists, pieces depicting moments in London’s art history and works by artists of local prominence who have passed,” said Danielle Hoevenaars, the gallery’s director.

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“It is a celebration of women artists who have contributed to the arts community as directors, curators, designers, board members, founders of arts organizations, teachers and arts and culture workers while maintaining their own creative practices. Their stories are as diverse as the works on the walls, and bios are posted throughout the gallery.”

Among the pieces contributed by Hamilton is one titled The Joan Marion. Joan is the name of her maternal grandmother and Marion, her great-great paternal grandmother. Included in the portrait is an image of a tiny Superman toy, suggesting children but also the role of women as superheroes.

“It’s about the struggle of being a mother and all the roles you take on as a mother, an homage to all mothers,” said Hamilton, a past president of the Forest City Gallery.

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“To me, all mothers are superheroes.”

Two of the smallest works in the collection are from Cheryl Radford’s Save Me series in which female figures are overlaid on top of historic local buildings.

“Cheryl admires the craftsmanship, character, culture and charm of historic architecture,” said Hoevenaars.

“Through these works she asks to save these old buildings and their creative energy.”

Said Radford: “I believe each and every old building has a soul and she deserves to be saved. Once an old building is destroyed, she is lost forever.

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If you go:

What: International Women’s Day Group Exhibition.

When: Until March 12 with reception Saturday at 2 p.m. and Virtual Artist’s Talk March 9. Visit the website westlandgallery.ca for more information.

Where: Westland Gallery, 156 Wortley Rd. at Bruce Street.

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