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Elycia SFA. Lost Mail, 2017. Handwoven silk linen with sewing thread inlay. Image courtesy of the artist.


January 21 - January 21, 2019

Habiba El-Sayed and Elycia SFA

Curated by Melanie Egan

> Images

June 24 – September 17, 2017

Whereabouts as a concept has an embedded duality and tension. You are always somewhere, but you might not know exactly where you are. With this aspect of known and unknown an external and internal dialogue takes place prompting these artists to situate themselves in space and time. The impressions of place as geography or site and the resonance of points-in-time exemplify their explorations of identity, memory and consequence.

– Melanie Egan, Curator


Elycia SFA

Objects are vessels of reminiscence. They can help connect us to the greater world around us, through aiding in communication and human connection. Particularly when distance is a factor between individuals, we inject meaning and memory into these artifacts of correspondence. This series is a study of objects that travel between locations to facilitate communication, while incorporating the notion of ephemera and capturing nostalgia in these conventionally disposable items. The act of incrementally hand weaving and stitching these pieces is juxtaposed with the temporary function of the articles in question. The implied presence of handwritten text paired with woven photos invites the viewer to add their own personal narratives into the abstracted information.

–Elycia SFA

Elycia SFA is a textile artist based in Toronto. Her work explores personal narrative and the de/reconstruction of memory, nostalgia, and loss, by portraying these concepts in the form of handwoven cloth. She attended OCAD University for Material Art and Design: Fibre, and graduated in 2015. She was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence program and awarded a scholarship in 2016.


Habiba El-Sayed

During a time of walls, bans and misinformation, this series aims to illustrate the voyeuristic nature of how Muslims are presented in the media. Often we are pigeonholed and only a small peek into our culture is presented. These snippets, full of images of violence and narratives of oppression dehumanizes the way Muslims are viewed, pandering to a growing desire for sensationalized images of gore, greed and sex. The Muslim becomes a trope, an object reduced to two dimensions, viewed from only one perspective – through a screen. Challenging the viewer to get close to the intricacies, softness and vulnerability that is rarely shown, the work seeks to refocus the lens.

–Habiba El-Sayed

Inspired by Islamic architecture and human vulnerability, Toronto-based ceramic artist Habiba El-Sayed uses a variety of materials, performance and temporal techniques to illustrate her concepts. Her work focuses on connecting to, exploring and interpreting aspects of her identity, particularly as a Muslim woman living in a post-9/11 world.

El-Sayed holds an Advanced Diploma from Sheridan College in Ceramics (2014) and a BFA in Ceramics from the NSCAD (2016). She has received various scholarships, including the Clifford Scholarship (2014) and was accepted as an Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre in 2016.


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