Meera Margaret Singh
May 6 - June 3, 2017
*Feature Exhibition for the 2017 CONTACT Photography Festival
Artist Talk: Saturday, May 27th, 3pm
The photographs in Jardim were taken by Meera Margaret Singh during a two-month artist residency in 2012 in Jardim Canada, Brazil, an isolated industrial town primarily made up of factories, warehouses, and improvised housing for a transitory workforce. Captured through the camera is an urban landscape oscillating between growth and decay. What is revealed through the printed photographs, however, is a self-reflexive meditation on the artist's experience of that time.
Living and working in this isolated town, Singh (like most of the local women) was restricted from leaving her residence after dark - this is the singular reason why all the photographs are shot in daylight. The artist residency was housed in an old converted factory and was shared at the time by Singh and three male artists. Access to the outside world was made even more tenuous with inconsistent internet and telephone connections. The residency itself became a place of gendered tension and, like the surrounding town after dark, a place where a woman was made to feel unsafe. Jardim bears witness to this tension by hovering between states of connection and alienation, freedom and restriction, safety and threat.
Meera Margaret Singh a visual artist based in Toronto. Recent exhibitions include Counterpoints: Photography Through the Lens of Toronto Collections curated by Jessica Bradley for The Art Museum during the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (2016), Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa (2015) and Here and There: Photography and Video Works on Immigration at The Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto (2013). Singh is the recipient of several residencies and awards, most notably she was the AGO Artist-in-Residence (2015), a scholarship winner and participant in the Magnum Workshop with international photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti (2008) and selected to participate in an international residency with German photographer Thomas Struth at the Atlantic Centre for the Arts in Florida (2007). She holds a BA in Anthropology and a BFA in Photography from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg as well as an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec. Her work appears in the collections of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Wedge Curatorial Projects.
PressWhyte, Murry. "Plenty of Photos to Ponder: At the Galleries". The Toronto Star. May 4, 2017.
Schechter, Fran. "20 must-sees at the Contact Photo Festival". Now Magazine. April 25, 2017.
Aggarwal, Aaditya. "11 Projects to see at Contact Photography Festival". Canadian Art Foundation. May 2017.