An installation view of Ceilidh Munroe's Fruition, featuring 5 framed prints hung in a row on a wall painted in dark blue with a diamond shaped white line pattern.

Exhibition Info

Sep 2 - Oct 6, 2023
10572 115 st, Edmonton, AB T5H 3K6

Wed-Fri | 12pm – 6pm
Sat | 12pm – 5pm

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SNAP is pleased to present Fruition, featuring new work by Ceilidh Munroe. The exhibition will be in the gallery from September 2 – October 6, 2023.

Opening reception: Saturday, September 2, 2023 from 7-9PM
Artist talk October 5th:

Fruition is a work that celebrates the abundance and fecundity of West Indian flora, particularly fruit, while simultaneously exploring the impacts of slavery and colonization through the lens of economic botany. Fruit, while symbolising fertility, bounty, and wealth, has a troubled historical relationship with labour and class, especially in the Caribbean. At its core, the work is a long table reminiscent of a feast setting, laid with hand printed tablecloths, napkins, flowers, and piled with bone-white plaster fruits. On an adjacent wall, 13 historical lithographs from the British Museum depicting flowers, fruits, and Black people at work and at rest are on display. These botanical lithographs highlight how carefully the mercantile potential of fruits and resources of the natural world were catalogued, while the same value was rarely assigned to the human lives instrumental in producing these fruits. Central to Fruition is the act of labouring. The tablecloths are painstakingly hand printed, the napkins are delicately embroidered, the fruits are laboriously cast. Each component is beautiful and decorative without belying the vast amounts of labour involved in their production. The work is a joyful, immersive installation that explores the complex relationship between Caribbean fruit and the hands that picked it. 

This installation is rooted in the historical use of printed matter to disseminate often incorrect and harmful information about the colonies across the world to European audiences. During the height of slavery and the imperialist expansion of European empires, the discoveries and spoils of the new worlds were catalogued and recorded often using print techniques. The visual language of lithography and etchings is the dominant aesthetic of journals, publications, pamphlets, postcards, and other methods of recording and sharing the discoveries. Painstakingly produced, beautiful prints of the flora and fauna of the islands existed in stark contrast to the satirical, ugly caricatures of the enslaved people who worked the plantations. Looking back at the prolific amount of historical printed material, it is clear that colonizers assigned very different values to the plants and peoples they encountered. Fruition, as an installation, engages with the traditions of printmaking in order to challenge and explore that complex relationship in a contemporary light. 

Central to the work are the vibrant, bright colours ubiquitous in the Caribbean today, the lively and lush flowers, and the abundant offering of tropical fruits. While it is important that the history of exploitation is acknowledged, Fruition is first and foremost a celebration of the joys of being Caribbean. 

Featured image: Fruition, 2021, mixed media, photo credit: David Macgillivray

Ceilidh Munroe is a Jamaican-Canadian visual artist living and working on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in Vancouver. She works primarily in print media with a focus in relief and monotype printing, although this does not exclude experiments with other media. She has earned a BA from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, and a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC. Her practice is partnered with an interest and passion for fine arts education that manifests itself in leading workshops, writing, discussions, leading tours, and more. 

SNAP is happy to provide this programming at no cost to participants.

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