Congratulations to  Morgan Sears-Williams, Jessica Kennedy, and Allison Morris for being included in the exhibition Girls, Girls, Girls – OPENING TONIGHT at Northern Contemporary Gallery!

Morgan Sears-Williams  is a Canadian-born visual artist currently working and living in Toronto, and attending OCAD University.  Morgan’s art practice is influenced by various feminist and queer movements and communities, and she often draws from personal experiences. Morgan explores ideas of plural identities within queer and feminist spaces, contemporary and intersectional feminist art practices and family relationships through photography, video and publication. She strives to highlight different social justice issues and to create change, be it political or not, through her work.

Morgan Sears-Williams

Morgan Sears-Williams, Stop Messaging Me , 2015, Installation View

Stop Messaging Me project:

 For many women, online spaces can be an unsafe and unwelcoming environment due to harassment. Taking up space online as a feminist can make you even more of a target for these unwanted sexual messages and threats. Additionally, a lack of accountability from law enforcement agencies helps harassment bleed from the online world into physical spaces.

Taken from Facebook, Twitter, Tinder and the like, messages were sourced from friends, online communities and the artist’s own research. Stop Messaging Me is commenting on digital culture and the ease of fast and anonymous communication, the online threats and comments have been reproduced into their own permanent archive. The index cards reference an older age of archiving, and the typewritten font an older age of technology. The process of typing these messages was both strenuous and time-consuming; this reproductive labour emphasizes the impact these words have on a person in an attempt to make viewers think more about the relationship between threats made online and their offline effects.

Viewers are asked to take one of these cards and to ‘deal with it’ in some way. In doing so, they are asked to try to experience what the people who receive these threats have felt and how they deal with it. It is up to the participant to choose what they will do with the card.

Bio: Jessica Kennedy is a Toronto born and raised printmaker/photographer. Currently studying at OCAD U, majoring in photography, Kennedy found her inspiration to lie in the rhythmic process of printmaking. In the past Kennedy has worked with themes of memory, family and anxiety in both photography and printmaking, currently she is working in some activist art based in feminism and women’s rights, solely through printmaking. Trying to make art that makes a difference while also making art accessible at a community level, Kennedy is currently working on a piece about the way society reacts to women’s decisions regarding birth control and reproductive rights, represented in a printmaking installation of anti-baby baby materials. This piece will be showcased in the OCAD U 101st Graduate Exhibition. A few upcoming shows Kennedy will be in include a print exchange with the Toronto Print Coalition and a First Generation Exhibition with theme: Reflection.

Bio: Allison Morris is an emerging fine art photographer living and working in the Greater Toronto Area. She has exhibited in Toronto, Ontario and Florence, Italy. Allison has recently completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, and spent her third year of study abroad as part of OCAD University’s Off-Campus Florence program in Italy.

Allison’s artistic practice explores themes of female representation, the construction of femininity, beauty, youth, identity, and performance from a feminist perspective. She uses self-portraiture as a tool with which she can control her images and challenge the male gaze by consciously performing for the camera and herself.

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