Sandra Brewster, Untitled (Straw Mat), 2018

Token | Contemporary Ongoing

Sandra Brewster
Exhibition runs January 25 2019 - March 9 2019
Opening: January 25 2019: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Essay by: Nehal El-Hadi
Closing Reception. Artist in Attendance! Saturday March 9 from 3-5 pm

In Token | Contemporary Ongoing, Sandra Brewster re-presents objects selected and transported from various Caribbean geographies and temporalities, projecting them beyond the private and intimate spaces of their belonging. These objects are belongings, possessions. The deliberate and deliberated presence of these object-images bears witness to our movements through time and space. The objects themselves function as reminders of where we come from, their value increasing in significance through their transportability, material durability, and sheer and sometimes irrational or inexplicable nostalgia.

The object provides a material reference for memory-time, a point of origin & destination & presence & departure & conclusion & arrival. The object projects and exists in past, present, future, and reflects back to us our emotions, including desire, regret, love. Memory-time is non-linear, cyclical, the object providing a necessary (re)calibration point in the spiral of our lives’ progressions.


Sandra Brewster would like to acknowlege the support of the Ontario Arts Council  through the Exhibition Assistance grant.

Sandra Brewster is a Canadian multi-disciplinary artist based in Toronto. Her drawings, paintings, collage, installation and video work have been exhibited nationally and abroad. Her recent photo-based gel transfer works reference a movement from one place to another place through metaphor and image manipulation. Brewster draws inspiration from her own personal travels as well as the stories told by a generation of Caribbean folk - like her Guyanese parents - who left their homes in the 1960s to pursue a "better life" in Canada. Immigration programs facilitated entry into the country. In her work, the resultant change due to migration is likened to an imprint, where pieces of the whole are kept in place and others are left behind. This imprint, for Brewster, also presents a nature of identity, along with a relationship with home, as non-static, influx.

Brewster's upcoming solo exhibitions include YYZ Artists's Outlet and Or Gallery in Vancouver (2019). Her work has been exhibited in Toronto at Mercer Union, Prefix Gallery and the Royal Ontario Museum. Her work will be exhibited at Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. Recent group exhibitions include LagosPhoto Festival 2018 in Nigeria, Musee des beaux arts in Montreal, Thames Gallery in Chatham, Aljira Contemporary Art Center in New Jersey, Art Gallery of Windsor, Eastern Edge Gallery in Newfoundland and Allegheny Art Galleries in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Brewster's exhibition It's all a blur... received the Gattuso Prize for outstanding featured exhibition of CONTACT Photography Festival 2017. She is the 2018 recipient of the Artist Prize from Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts and is 2018 Artist-in-Residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Brewster holds a Masters of Visual Studies from University of Toronto and a BFA from York University. She is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects.

Nehal El-Hadi is a journalist, researcher, and producer whose work explores the relationships between the body, place, and technology. Her writing has appeared in academic journals, general scholarship publications, literary magazines, and is forthcoming in several anthologies and edited collections.


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