Tender Works

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC

by Christine Clark
Tender Works is a group exhibition of video-based work that includes contributions from local artists and others chosen from across Canada and the US. The nine participating artists
represent a diverse group of communities, including the LGBTQ+, Muslim and Indigenous communities. All have extensive experience creating moving pictures, whether in film, stop-motion or performance-based works, and all are also concerned with performing acts of tenderness. The work in this exhibition touches on themes of culture, family intimacy, creativity and respect.
Curator Nicole Stanbridge explains: “I had been talking with folks in the arts community about how they are working and how much care is involved in work that draws from activism, social justice and personal narratives… Selecting the works for this exhibition happened quite organically because of the artists who I was already familiar with or in conversation with, who work in this way, with care and curiosity. Their investigations are about honouring people who inspire them, holding each other up, and questioning the status quo to further understand how we got to where we are today.
“Tenderness,” she says, “can be something we direct towards someone or ourselves, but it can also be a point of pain or discomfort. I think many people feel those complex and layered emotions and they can come from a place of hope, but also a place of fear. One of the questions posed in relation to these works is ‘How can tenderness function as a tool for healing?’ ”

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