June 22 – August 20, 2017
Koffler Gallery
Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street

Guest Curator: Jennifer Rudder

Thursday, June 22, 2017 | 6–9 PM | FREE

Read the digital gallery publication with an essay by guest curator Jennifer Rudder:


In her first solo exhibition in Toronto, Mary Anne Barkhouse invokes the animal inhabitants of the land in artworks that reveal the transitory nature of empire, highlighting both the endurance and betrayals that delineate history north of the 49th parallel. Comprising a series of new and recent sculptures and photo collages, Le rêve aux loups reflects on our skewed experience of nature as a resource for human needs, rather than an ecosystem with its own intrinsic value.

Deeply engaged with environmental and Indigenous issues, Barkhouse’s artistic practice foregrounds a visual iconography where animals play a central role. She situates her work between the two worlds of the human and the natural, employing the beaver, owl, wolf and coyote as symbols of the ability to adapt and persist, regenerate and repair throughout endless incursions into their environs.

Descended from a family of traditional Northwest Coast Kwakiutl carvers, Barkhouse has always worked within a contemporary sculpture/installation style. Her elegant yet witty works frequently employ popular culture references, while her accomplished handling of traditional sculptural materials such as wood, bronze, porcelain and glass, bring both a refined sensibility and serious tone to her often playful installations. These sophisticated artworks offer a quiet beauty while revealing the difficult struggle over territory that continues amongst humans, animals and the environment.

On July 9, 2017 artists Mary Anne Barkhouse and FASTWÜRMS were joined by curator Jennifer Rudder to discuss practices that foreground the relationship of the human and animal realm with the environment, examining the role that art can play in ecological as well as political awareness. Listen to the conversation here:

Mary Anne Barkhouse was born in Vancouver, BC and belongs to the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation. An established artist and sculptor, she is a descendant of a long line of internationally recognized Northwest Coast artists that includes Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James.  Galleries that have showcased her work include the Ottawa Art Gallery, the Peterborough Art Gallery , the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, the Art Gallery of Sudbury, Gallery Stratford, and the Wave Hill Glyndor Gallery in New York City. Barkhouse is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art and her work can be found in public parks and on college and university campuses across Ontario, as well as the collections of prestigious institutions such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Mendel Art Gallery, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Banff Centre for the Arts and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. In addition, her public art installations are featured at the City of Markham, Carleton University in Ottawa, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, University of Western Ontario, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Robert McLaughlin Gallery and the Millennium Walkway, Peterborough.  Mary Anne Barkhouse lives and works in Minden, Ontario.

Image at top: Mary Anne Barkhouse, Alpha (detail), 2011.