Excavation: Memory Work

Category: arts 63

A new exhibit by Nova Scotia filmmaker Sylvia D. Hamilton opens January 12 at the UNB Arts Centre.

Award winning Nova Scotia filmmaker Sylvia D. Hamilton returns to UNB Fredericton with a new multimedia exhibit opening January 12. Excavation: Memory Work will be presented in recognition of Black History Month.

Excavation:  Memory Work, is an adaptive multi-media installation in which the artist presents ideas of place, memory and history through selections of text and objects relative to the space in which it is displayed. At the UNB Art Centre, Hamilton mines the collection of Kings Landing and the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick for artifacts and photographs to tell the story of Black settlement in the region. Based on decades of research and reflection, this powerful and thought-provoking display will challenge our ideas and assumptions about what we know about our collective past.

Sylvia D. Hamilton is an award winning Nova Scotian filmmaker, writer and artist raised in Beechville, Nova Scotia. Her films include Black Mother Black Daughter, Speak It: From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia, Portia White: Think On Me and The Little Black School House, among others.  Her writing has appeared in a variety of Canadian journals and anthologies. Her poetry collection, And I Alone Escaped to Tell You was short-listed for a 2015 League of Canadian Poets Award. Since its first exhibition at the Dalhousie Art Gallery, her multi-media installation titled Excavation, has been mounted in three locations in Nova Scotia and Ontario. Her body of work—film, writing and installations— has brought the history, contributions and life experiences of African Canadians into the mainstream of Canadian arts. This work stands in opposition to the erasure of Black Canadians from traditional representations of Canada. She draws on archival sources and collective oral stories to create a counter-memory. Hamilton holds the Roger’s Chair in Communications at the University of King’s College in Halifax.

During the month of February the UNB Art Centre and the Department of History at UNB will be presenting a series of films, lectures and events marking Black History Month.  

Excavation: Memory Work | UNB Arts Centre | 9 Bailey Drive | January 12 – February 23 | The artist will be present for a walking tour of the exhibit. January 12 at 5:00 pm. 

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