Yonder, the most ambitious exhibition in the Koffler Gallery’s history, features the work of sixteen artists – all newcomers to Canada or first generation Canadians – of various cultural heritages. Following the September 21, 2016 opening reception, the festivities continued with a comprehensive artist talk and tour led by thirteen of Yonder’s artists.

The talk had a wonderful turnout and sparked much conversation among the group of over fifty participants. Below, photographer Rafael Goldchain discusses his influences and the role photography played in his migration from Chile in the late 1960s, to Israel in the early 1970s, and finally to Toronto in the late 1970s.

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Left to right: Chile 1968-70, Israel 1970-75, Toronto 1976-78 by Rafael Goldchain, and Balikbayan Bakla Maya (2016) by Julius Poncelet Manapul. Photo: Mary Anderson.

Mona Filip, Director/Curator of the Koffler Gallery, introduces the theme of displacement explored in Jérôme Havre’s installation piece The Poetics of Geopolitics (2016).

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Photo: Mary Anderson.

Sarindar Dhaliwal tell’s a delightful anecdote involving Austen Clarke and Toronto’s infamous weather, relating to her piece Weather: An Immigrant Perspective (2016).

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Photo: Mary Anderson.

Julius Poncelet Manapul spoke to his experiences as a migrant from the Philippines, his encounters with Toronto’s LGBTQ community, and the ever-present feeling of not quite fitting in.

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Photo: Mary Anderson.

French born, Morrocan-Montrealer, multi-media artist, 2Fik lead a discussion of his playful yet introspective photographic series Commute M, Commute F, Commute Q; Café Q, Café F, Café M; Sidewalk Q, Sidewalk M, Sidewalk F.

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Photo: Mary Anderson.

In the early stages of the tour we heard firsthand from Divya Mehra, who explained her use of text based work and the interplay she creates between the titles of her artwork and the actual pieces.

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Left to right, Divya Mehra, Rebranding YOURSELF as SOMEONE (who could definitely do something else) (2014); You Made Me (2014); Striving toward enhanced linguistic tolerance (an Opening of opportunity) (2014); Brendan Fernandes, Andrew’s Feet (2014). Photo: Mary Anderson.

Artist talks are always wonderful to attend, but this one in particular, due to its scope and size, was especially entertaining. It was an afternoon filled with laughs and enlightening conversation. A big thank you to all who attended!

– Posted by Letticia Cosbert | December 2, 2016