New MacLaren Art Centre exhibit features work from Scarborough artist Erika DeFreitas

Titled “everything she inspires remains, belongs to light” reimagines a canon in which Black women’s artistic labour is as valued and commemorated as the work of their contemporaries.  It features several series that the artist created to investigate the dual natures of absence and presence. Working in a variety of media, all the works reflect DeFreitas’ curiosity with how we encounter and anticipate loss.

Erika DeFreitas is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice includes the use of performance, photography, video, installation, textiles, works on paper and writing. Placing an emphasis on process, gesture, the body, documentation and paranormal phenomena, she works through attempts to understand concepts of loss, post-memory, inheritance and objecthood. 

DeFreitas’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She was the recipient of the TFVA 2016 Finalist Artist Prize, the 2016 John Hartman Award and longlisted for the 2017 Sobey Art Award. DeFreitas holds a Master of Visual Studies from the University of Toronto.

Though the Gallery is closed due to the pandemic, a series of free digital programs will give the public a look into the exhibition. In addition to an online presentation of select works and installation views, an essay by acclaimed curator and writer Daisy Desrosiers will illuminate the themes and subject matter explored by the artist. Audiences can also tune in to a live interview between DeFreitas and Desrosiers, hosted through Zoom on January 23 at 2 pm. 

Everything she inspires remains, belongs to light” runs until March 14 at the MacLaren Art Centre.