Immigrant by Rosemary Sloot
Friday, April 5 – Saturday, May 25, 2013
Artist Talk and Reception: Sunday, April 14 starting at 2:00 pm
Norfolk Arts Centre
Tuesday – Friday, and alternating Saturdays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
21 Lynnwood Avenue, Simcoe ON N3Y 2V7
tel: (519) 428-0540 url: www.norfolkartscentre.ca
Like many Dutch families in the post-war decades, the Sloots travelled to Canada on the Waterman, a post-war Dutch immigrant ship that sailed from Rotterdam to Canada. They arrived in 1952, first at a port in Quebec City, and then settled in Waterford, Ontario. Rosemary was born just two months after the family’s arrival becoming the first Canadian in her family. But prior to her death, Rosemary Sloot’s mother remarked that she had only one regret and that was emigrating from Holland to Canada. This revelation “shocked and saddened” Rosemary, and prompted her to delve into her family’s history of emigration, their experience as immigrants and the experience of successive generations who continue to straddle two cultures. Immigrant presents a meticulous collection of paintings and drawings based on this exploration.
The multiple layers of the immigrant experience are represented in the superimposition of text and image in each painting. Black and white photographs taken by Sloot’s parents in The Netherlands and during their first few years in Canada, text from immigration identification cards, and the only remaining letter from Sloot’s grandparents come together to create a feeling of being both “here” and “there”, reflect the passage of time and consider the nature of memory – both collective and individual. These ideas are highlighted by the formal aspects of the works. The layering of text and image – which is at times blurred, at times sharply defined – create a field of depth that draws the viewer’s gaze into the painting. This format demands close looking and inspires personal reflection. Rendered on a life-sized scale, Sloot transforms the intimate experience of reading a letter or viewing a family photograph into a publicly accessible forum on the narrative of Canadian immigration. By returning to Norfolk County with her recent work, Rosemary brings to life the stories that have shaped the cultural imagination of the County and the nation.
About the Artist
Canadian artist Rosemary Sloot has been painting and making art for more than three decades. She has a Masters of Visual Arts in Painting from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her practice as both a teacher and artist was fostered during the seventies in Norfolk County where she taught art for the Norfolk County Board of Education, and participated in workshops and exhibitions at the Lynnwood Arts Centre (Norfolk Arts Centre). Rosemary Sloot has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally, and has works in numerous public and private collections in Canada and abroad. Rosemary Sloot was born in Simcoe; she currently lives and works in London, Ontario.
Join us at the Norfolk Arts Centre on Sunday, April 14th for an artist talk and public reception. Rosemary Sloot will speak about the exhibition at 2:00 pm. A public reception will follow from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Admission is free; light refreshments will be served.
The Norfolk Arts Centre would like to acknowledge the support of A & B Storage.
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