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From May 31 – July 2, in support and recognition of World Refugee Day, THEMUSEUM is featuring 3 unique artworks/installations:

Bloody Boats by Akshata Naik, an art installation about deconstructing and dismantling the symbol of the traumatic journey that immigrants experience. To the artist, this installation represents a personal experience as an immigrant and seeks to echo several voices like hers through similar unsettling journeys which resonate with a large global population of migrants and refugees, both locally and globally. The subject is inspired by narratives illustrating how humans are struggling to strike a balance between virtual life and reality, full of economic distress and devastation, resulting in conscious migration decisions.

About the Artist

Akshata is originally from India where the social and cultural fabric is complex in terms of caste, colour and politics, however being a woman of colour in Toronto, she found herself in a comparable position. She establishes a conversation between concepts of inclusion, dignity, consumption and subjectivity by discussing internationally generic problems in the form of symbolism and the multiplicity of all images that challenge viewers with the concept of challenging culture and the environment. Her research continues to explore the fantasy notions of travel in the future and co-existing in both the physical and the virtual world at the same time. Akshata currently lives and works in Ottawa.

Giver of Gifts by Abiola Idowu, an artwork painted on a blanket Abiola received as a gift when he arrived in Canada from Nigeria. “You dig past the infrastructure that has been installed most recently in your psyche. These shallow layers are the ones that help you survive and navigate in your current space and time. You dig past these, down beneath your modern history. Your family, your culture, their pain and their joy. You dig so deep that you reach the depths of your ancient history. Stay there for a while… be grateful to have earned these layers of experience.”

About the Artist

Abiola Idowu is a multidisciplinary artist. He came to Canada from Nigeria (via Ohio) in 2018. Prior to coming to Canada, Abiola worked briefly with a sculptor in Zanesville, Ohio and continued his own practice. He has been in North America for eight years, and in this time, his work has been featured in thirteen exhibitions, including eight solo exhibitions. He now calls Brampton his home, and he is proud that it embraces him as an artistic icon. He received the 2021 Art Acclaim Award celebrating artists who achieved national and international recognition. In Canada, he has created several public art installations, and he is currently working on a bronze memorial statue of Kitchener’s beloved Mel Brown, a project led by THEMUSEUM.

Arrival by Euan Gray, a socially conscious board game conceived as a painless way for the non-migrant majority to experience the frustrations of migrants trying to reach their destination and the inequalities many face. The ease with which a person gains entry to a country depends disproportionally on one’s background and origin. Employing cliche and satire, Gray’s socially-conscious game is conceived as a painless way for the non migrant majority to experience the frustrations of migrants trying to reach their destination and the inequalities many face.

About the Artist
Euan Gray lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is predominantly an artist but he has curated a number of multi-venue exhibitions since 2010. These include, Pop Life, an international exhibition on contemporary figure drawing for venues across Sweden, Netherlands, Germany and Scotland in 2022-23; Another Country, an exhibition on the impact of migration on Scotland for multiple venues in 2018; Phantom Limb, an exhibition on medicine, memory and the treatment process for Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom as their contribution to the Liverpool Biennial in 2016 and A Parliament of Lines, a large survey of contemporary Scottish drawing for multiple international venues in 2013. As an artist, he has shown extensively both nationally and internationally, and won numerous awards. In 2017, he was one of 40 artists included in the book Artists as Cultural Producers, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life vol. 2 edited by Sharon Louden.




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