Martha Street Studio — Mahri White, 2019 recipient of the Grant Marshall Student Summer Residency


11 Martha Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 1A2

204 779 6253

Mahri White, 2019 recipient of the Grant Marshall Student Summer Residency

Martha Street Studio is pleased to announce Mahri White as the recipient of the 2019 Grant Marshall Student Summer Residency. 

Mahri's practice focuses on topics of queer sexuality and shame through various print media, textile sculptures, and costumes. Mahri will be printing in the studio through July and August, focusing on lithography and screen printing, and will showcase some of her work in the gallery in August. Stay tuned for details.


Artist Statement:
Through developmental pubescent years, shame seeps into consciousness while we navigate purity and sexuality simultaneously. For many queer teenagers like myself through much of this millennium's first decade, this navigation can be terrifying. My artwork blends Freudian sex symbols, adolescent playthings, and hiding places as a response to my devastating self-discovery of 2006; that godforsaken moment I realized I was gay.
Sigmund Freud enters my work satirically and often. I examine ludicrous theories comparing female genitalia to mollusks, and utilize this symbolism via sculpture and printmaking. I re-write Freud by applying my queerness to interpretations of body sockets or shells I wish to invade as a second party or retract into. The hiding place is a way for me to confront shame, and I conceptualize this with the materiality of textiles. Though textiles rarely imitate mucous covered membranes, they allow for other aspects of texture that can evoke sensuous notions. My works often resemble dolls and other stereotypically feminine toys as a way of simulating control over powerless entities while playing into ideas about traditional femininity, and further, how femininity can be perverse through the options that play provides.
My practice does not mention anything that fourth wave feminism has not already, but I aim for it to question my personal role within queer spaces.  I examine the ways in which lesbianism is exhibited through patterns we often denounce when performed via stereotypical masculinity, and I antagonize myself in my work as a perpetrator of these actions through the privilege I hold.


About the Grant Marshall Student Summer Residency program:

One University of Manitoba student working in print media will be awarded a Grant Marshall Student Summer Residency per year. This award is made possible with support from the Manitoba Printmakers Marshall Fund held at the Winnipeg Foundation. The selected student will receive two free months of studio rental in the summer months (July and August), a one-year membership, a $400 artist fee and a $200 materials budget.

Charles Grant Marshall, B.I.D, M.A, F.P.I.D.I.M (1931 – 2012)

Grant Marshall was raised in West Kildonan and spent a lifetime creating beautiful, functional environments – as an interior designer, artist, volunteer and teacher. He was a recipient of the Governor General’s Award and graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Design, from the University of Manitoba in 1955. As an accomplished designer, Grant was responsible for many of the interiors that defined Winnipeg’s 1950’s modern architecture boom, including the Monarch Life Building (now Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba) at 333 Broadway. Grant also designed costumes and sets for Rainbow Stage, Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers and the Royal  Winnipeg Ballet - where he met his wife Marnie, the company’s principle dancer. Grant was additionally on the advisory committee for the Manitoba Craft Guild and was a founding member of the Interior Designers of Canada Foundation. As a volunteer, Grant created joyful atmospheres for charitable agencies, including the Ronald McDonald House and Anne Ross Day Nursery at Mount Carmel Clinic, for which he received the Manitoba Premier’s Award of Excellence. As an artist, he was a talented watercolourist who helped shape Winnipeg’s visual art scene and was an owner of one of the first private art galleries in the city in the 1960’s along with Bruce Head and Winston Leathers. Grant produced solo exhibitions at Leonard Marcoe Studio Gallery, Winnipeg (1980 – 2012) and at the University of Manitoba and participated in group exhibitions at Site Gallery (1995-2012) and at the Charles Herman Gallery in Vancouver. For three decades, Grant owned a store stocking modern furniture and fashions from Europe, contributing to Winnipeggers’ sense of style. While Grant was proud of his awards and exhibitions, his 40-year teaching career and being Department Head of the University of Manitoba’s Department of Interior Design (1989 to 1994) were huge highlights.

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