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dawn draws, dusk drops (I): Shannon Garden-Smith & Jana Ghalayini




Shannon Garden-Smith (she/her) is an uninvited settler of Scottish, Irish, and British heritage and an artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto, Canada. She received an MFA from the University of Guelph (2017) and Honours BA from the University of Toronto (2012). Working in sculpture, installation and expanded photo practice, she has exhibited nationally and internationally with recent projects at the Bows (Mohkínstsis/Calgary, AB), Oxygen Art Centre (Nelson, BC), Franz Kaka (Tkaronto/Toronto, ON), Gallery TPW (Tkaronto/Toronto, ON), Pumice Raft (Tkaronto/Toronto, ON), and TIER: The Institute for Endotic Research (Berlin). Her work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC), and Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Often using unconventional materials such as sand and gelatin, Garden-Smith’s work foregrounds an understanding of matter premised on interdependency, flux, and the finitude of resources—values informed by intersectional feminist new materialist frameworks. Through a slow, repetitive process that re-visibilizes how the day-to-day architectures of our lives become naturalized through repeated exposure, her work re-sensitizes us to the labour and material that sustain our everyday. Engendering slippages between surface and structure, her work examines labour, identity, and power in human-built architectures, seeking to intervene into capitalist, productivist modes of telling time and modes of relation.

Jana Ghalayini (b. 1993) is a Palestinian textile and multimedia artist born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and is now based in Toronto. Jana’s work investigates identity and heritage, through a practice centering on rituals of intuitive play. Each work attempts through fragmentation and abstraction of materiality, to mediate emotional truths emerging from a consistent approach of self-referential, cathartic, ritualistic, explorative, and expressive seeking. Her mixed-media practice incorporates techniques such as weaving, painting, and printmaking; all making space to access deeper material and philosophical explorations. As a self-taught weaver, Jana’s approach is grounded in her Bedouin and Palestinian ancestral roots, which play a significant factor in her pursuit of weaving as an art form.

Jana graduated from OCAD University where she earned her BFA in printmaking in 2017.  She was awarded the annual medal for her program and received awards such as the Nora E. Vaughan award, the Ignite Imagination award, and the Spoke membership prize. Jana has exhibited both locally and internationally in places such as TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto, (2022), Hearth Gallery, Toronto (2021), Hafez Gallery, Jeddah (2020), Art Dubai, Dubai (2019), Shubbak Festival, London, UK (2017) and Art Toronto, Toronto (2017).