The World We’re Living In

January 31, 2022 - July 29, 2022

The World We’re Living In brings together works of art connected to issues that are very much part of our local and global consciousness – environmental crisis, colonization and unresolved Indigenous land claims, the human body (specifically the female and disabled bodies), immigration and cultural diaspora, and the impact of Western consumer culture which runs beneath the surface of everything. The works ask us not to look away, to move past discomfort to understanding, acceptance and positive action.

Drawn from the Nickle Galleries’ collection of art, The World We’re Living In offers a way to interact with contemporary art beyond passive consumption – to understand that each work here is an invitation to a conversation led by the artist and guided by his or her research, knowledge and insight. Although art and aesthetics are fields of study that define art as a discipline with distinctive histories and theories, the gallery is a forum where works of art perform, the artist addresses the audience, and the crowd has their own myriad points of view. Artists notice the world we’re living in, long before issues become buzzwords and concerns become causes. They respond with a mixture of research and imagination, personal expression, anxiety, empathy and urgency. What becomes the subject matter of their work is so often prescient and far ahead of common knowledge – sometimes poetic, sometimes strident, yet always drawing us into their work and introducing us into conversations that are as uncomfortable as they are important.

At this moment, we are entering what will be the third year of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the personal, political and economic crises it has engendered. The World We’re Living In is an introduction to the winter exhibitions at Nickle Galleries – all reminders of just some of the issues, concerns and reality that were at play before the pandemic and remain unresolved.

Curated by Christine Sowiak from the collections of Nickle Galleries.

Diana Thorneycroft, Herd (detail), 2016, Collection of Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary, Gift of the Artist. Photo: Dave Brown, LCR Photo Services.

shroud envisioning (ananas comosus in strata), 2020, acrylic, pigment, gesso on canvas, 60 x 40 in. Image courtesy of Jarvis Hall Gallery.