Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

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Grief Work by Susan P. Gibson

Adelaide McDermot Gallery: Grief Work by Susan P. Gibson, Nuit Blanche/September 27 – 29

Grief Work

Photographs by Susan P. Gibson
Curated by Diana Thorneycroft
Adelaide McDermot Gallery
318 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB

Opening: Friday Sept. 27, 7 – 10 PM

Nuit Blanche: Saturday September 28, 6PM – 12 AM

Sunday September 29, 12 – 5 PM
Due to the limited accessibility of the gallery, an artist talk will be live-streamed by Arts AccessAbility Network of Manitoba on Sunday September 29, 7 PM
Location: Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (611 Main Street, Winnipeg)

Facebook Link:

About the exhibition:

The journey through grief is hard, personal and unpredictable. When Susan P. Gibson’s husband Randy unexpectedly passed away, the last thing on her mind was continuing her practice as an artist.

Following the funeral, Gibson was inundated with flowers and food. Bereaving and overwhelmed, most of the casseroles, soups, breads and pastries sat, unconsumed, in her fridge and on her dining room table — and began to spoil.

Notwithstanding her emotional pain, she became aware of the visual transformations that were taking place, and began photographing the uneaten food and dying blossoms. Within weeks of her husband’s death, she found a way to breathe again, a way to hold on and survive.

“When everything else is gone, you go to all that is left.”

Susan P. Gibson

Grief Work, which opens at the Adelaide McDermot Gallery on Sept. 27 during this year’s Nuit Blanche, is the visual illumination of Gibson’s seven year lived experience of healing through grief; her lens capturing the shifting colours and textures of dying flowers and rotting food.

The exhibition is Gibson’s first lens based solo show and features over 20 digital photographs. Due to the universal experience of grief and the remarkable quality of her work, Gibson was awarded visual artist grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council.

Grief Work embodies several underlying beliefs; that everything is connected, that out of death comes new growth and that even in the darkest of human experience there exists an undeniable beauty in reality. Amid sorrow it is those slivers of beauty and nuggets of joy that sustain us.

For seven years, Gibson meditatively set up complex still life situations, selecting and juxtaposing living things with man made objects, watching the decomposition and new life while composing full frame images that are simultaneously alluring and repugnant. Layered between the still life and creative outcome are elements of being out of control and the freedom from an anticipated outcome

The curator for Grief Work is Diana Thorneycroft, Gibson’s former University of Manitoba art instructor, mentor and friend. Thorneycroft is familiar with Gibson’s practice, multiple disability issues and the ongoing challenge of living without her best friend.

For more information, please contact Diana Thorneycroft: 204-788-0355 or

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