Back to All Events

Akin Vitrine Gallery December exhibition, “All Are Welcome” by Akin Dupont member Bernadette Peets.

  • Akin Vitrine Gallery, second floor hallway 1485 Dupont Street Toronto, ON, M6P 3S2 Canada (map)

Introducing our Akin Vitrine Gallery December exhibition, “All Are Welcome” by Akin Dupont member, Bernadette Peets.

“I have been thinking a lot about how recent immigrants and in particular refugees who come to Canada feel about us, this country and in particular what their experience is of our landscapes. 

Is Canadian society the open, warm and friendly culture that we like to think it is for these newcomers? Is our pristine landscape available to them? Does it represent a refuge or is it viewed as threatening due to its vastness and unknown dangers?

I often use wild animals in my shadow boxes to represent the vulnerability of the human characters in the narrative. In this case, the deer with the bullseye carries the symbol of the 'hunted' while at the same time acting as a warning to these individuals. The orange screen across the front is meant to slightly obscure the scene so that the viewer must look even closer to be able to see it completely. The screen says "All Are Welcome" but also acts as a barrier or an enclosure reminiscent of a refugee camp. The scenes on the side walls remind us of the origins of the travellers and the reflective surface creates a way for all of the scenes and characters to merge.

I think that we still need to go some distance in our understanding of how these newcomers may be feeling in their new reality and how we might bridge the gap between viewing them as 'other' and more as part of our communities.” 

Bernadette was born in Toronto where she currently lives and works. Her studio is in the Akin Collective at 1485 Dupont Street. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1996 where she majored in Drawing, Painting and Art History. She lived in Florence Italy for two years (1987–88 & 1994–95) where she continued to study Art History and develop her craft as a painter.

She has explored many themes over the past 20 years of her art practice and while she has mainly used painting as her medium she has also included three dimensional installation work as well as other pictorial devices that include shadow boxes, photographs, drawing and printmaking.

Her subjects of interest have been rooted in her political, social and aesthetic ideals. Whether she is using her work as a platform for a discussion on topics as diverse as the female body image to issues relating to the Indigenous Nations in Canada, her approach is always connected to her strong sense of design, colour and technical precision.

Craft is important to her as an effective means of communication. She believes that having a high quality of execution in her work facilitates a more effective communication of her intent.

‘All Are Welcome' 
Mixed Media
Variable Dimensions

The Akin Vitrine Gallery is located at the Clock Factory Building at 1485 Dupont Street (entrance on Campbell Avenue). Find Akin Studio 215 on the second floor and follow the sign into the hallway around the corner.

The building is open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, or to arrange a viewing outside of those hours please contact the artist:
Instagram: @b_peets

Earlier Event: November 29
Akin Show & Tell #62: Dufferin
Later Event: December 6
Akin Creative: Card Making Party!