Birch Contemporary



Works in the exhibition

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Cognizance :

A distinguishing mark or emblem.

Knowledge or awareness.

Notice or acknowledgement

What does it mean to be distinguished by a feature or mark? How do we recognize what it is we see, is it through our own knowledge, or an awareness of others? Thus, what is it that we notice and what part of that do we fully acknowledge?

These questions are not unique, but timeless. They are driven by our simultaneous advances and retreats to address and understand where it is we find ourselves; our political, environmental, financial, historical, and social surroundings. The complex evolving network of perception, meaning, and ideas.

As such, Cognizance presents a selection of works that seek to simulate the viewer into an active dialogue. A response to the challenge of these questions, not only within themselves, but also between one and another, creating a site for the exchange of these perceptions, meanings, and ideas.

Cognizance is an exhibition showcasing the talents of current candidates of the Guelph MFA program. Ranked as one of the best MFA programs in the country, Guelph has produced a number of the most successful emerging artists working in Canada today.  Current and former graduates of the program are now represented all over Canada, as well as the United States and Europe. They have also had notable award success, being included as finalists, and winners, in the RBC painting prize, Scotiabank Photography award, BMO Art award, and the Sobey Art award. Moreover, their works are held in a number of high profile public and private collections.

We at Birch Contemporary are delighted to be able to present these artists in their first collective group show in Toronto.

Cognizance is curated by Ross Lalani-Jennings. Ross holds an MA in Art History from the University of Guelph (2019), as well as an MA in Culture Criticism and Curation, from Central Saint Martins College of Art (2014). 

Basil AlZeri:

Aidan Cowling:

Sarah Davidson:  @triceradee

Azadeh Elmizadeh: @azadehelmizadeh

Cassandra Ferguson: @cassandraferg

Jackson Klie: @jackson.klie

Deirdre McAdams: @deirdreseesthis

Alexine McLeod: @allymmcleod

Jose Mora:  @hailing.frequencies

Emily Moriarty:  @emily.moriarty

Ben Mosher: @benmoshr

Caroline Mousseau: @caromousseau

Laurence Pilon: @laurence_pilon

Xiao Xue:  @xiaonomiddlenamexue