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Indepth Arts News:

"Sem Saudade: Contemporary Art by Canadians of Portuguese Heritage - Teresa Ascençao, Marie de Sousa, Miguel Rocha and Joe Lima"
2002-05-18 until 2002-06-29
Cambridge Galleries
Cambridge, ON, CA Canada

"Sem saudade" (pronounced "sem so-dawd") roughly translates from Portuguese to mean "without regret." Portuguese-Canadians, the sons and daughters of the great outward migration of the 50's, 60's and 70's, are beginning to interpret their personal and common histories without regret, as active agents in their own, and in Canada's history. As artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers, a new generation is creating images and narratives that often express the uneasy feeling of cultural limbo experienced while attempting to straddle the cultures of the past, present and future.

In her feature article "The Concrete Ceiling: Class, Culture and Toronto's Portuguese," for the Summer 2000 issue of Fuse Magazine, Anna Camara examined the often neglected or under-represented work of artists of Portuguese heritage in Canada. As part of her research, Camara began a dialogue with a group of emergent artists and activists. As guest curator for this exhibition, Camara introduces to Cambridge four Portuguese-Canadian artists whose work deals either explicitly or implicitly with their Portuguese heritage.

A panel discussion will be held on Sunday, May 26 at 2:30 p.m. The panel will include artists in the exhibition, academics and activists who will discuss issues of arts, culture and education facing Portuguese-Canadians.

Artists in the Exhibition

Teresa Ascençao was born to an Azorean family in Sao Paolo, Brasil in 1966. In 1969 her family emigrated to Canada. She studied graphic design at Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto and received her Honours B.F.A. from the University of Toronto. Ascençao‚s work concentrates on received images of male and female identity. In "Sem Saudade" she will exhibit Portrait of a Young Bullfighter, a video installation depicting a nostalgic display of male body language and identity. She has also produced a new body of work for the exihibition entitled Maria, that is comprised of five lenticular, or "3D" photographs, that explore the subject of women's sexuality within the artist's Portuguese-Azorean cultural upbringing. Teresa Ascençao currently lives and works in Toronto.

Joe Lima was born in Sao Miguel in the Portuguese Azores in 1963. He studied at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and at Concordia University in Montreal, where he currently lives. For the last several years Lima as been working in the medium of fresco painting. Since the mid nineteen-eighties Lima has been exhibiting his work in galleries in Ontario and Quebec. In 2000 he exhibited his frescos at the Galeria de Arte da Câmara Municipal, in Ponta Delgada, Portugal. His recent work deals with sites and places that he has visited or remembered, recollections of stories told by various people, parades and Portuguese festivals. The exhibition will include several of his landscape frescos and small portrait frescos as well a new triptych.

Miguel Rocha was born in 1970 in Porto, Portugal and moved to Toronto with his family in 1975. He graduated from the Ontario College of Art where he studied painting, photography and film. He has made several films with his partner Patricia Teckert, including most recently Lost Heroes (2001), which is a beautiful yet dark story exploring the loss of cultural identity. Rocha will exhibit a 9 x 12 foot multi-panel photographic installation of a field of sunflowers in Portugal.

Marie de Sousa was born in Sao Miguel, Azores in 1959 and came to Canada in 1966. She studied at the Ontario College of Art, and received her BFA from Concordia University in Montreal. Marie de Sousa‚s paintings are about transformation and physical movement. She has explores these themes in serial imagery and kinetic work that combine traditional techniques of painting with motion detectors, electric motors and mechanical engineering. She currently lives and works in Toronto.

About the Curator

Guest curator Anna Camara was born in Sao Miguel, Azores, and grew up in Toronto's Kensington and Beaches neighbourhoods. After attending theatre school, she helped to found Opus Theatre in Hamilton, Ontario, and then worked as a designer, costumer, playwright and actor in regional theatres across the province. While freelancing and volunteering in her school community as a visiting artist and gardener, she began to write fiction. For her fiction and non-fiction work she draws on her family's experience of immigrating to Toronto, her immersion in the expanding culture of the city and her interest in visual media.

Joe Lima

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