Impossible Expectations: Jacob Irish and Julie Hall, Tara Lynn MacDougall, Angie Quick

Impossible Expectations
Jacob Irish and Julie Hall, Tara Lynn MacDougall, Angie Quick

September 8 – October 27, 2018
Opening Reception: September 8, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Super Crawl: September 14-16, 2018 (extended hours)

The artists in Impossible Expectations, Jacob Irish & Julie Hall, Tara Lynn MacDougall, and Angie Quick, enact and challenge the assumed truths of dominant cultural myths. Reflecting on common misconceptions that underpin contemporary Western society, the artists endeavor to reveal realities of social stratification in relation to class, race and gender. Irish & Hall’s interactive sculpture, The Miller and the Baker (2018), explores the value of labour through the part-man, part-bull figure of the Greek Minotaur, who represents a miller trapped in an endless cycle of physical labour. In her abstract paintings, Quick unravels the canon of Western art by deconstructing its white, heteronormative mythos into gestures that resemble fleshy landfills. MacDougall’s audio recording, It’s worth repeating (so I did) (2018), compiles words of well-known female artists into a feminist “artist talk” that also questions relationships between success and the performance of class privilege. Through their investigations into myth-making, the artists in Impossible Expectations expose the historical influence of Western ideology on how we continue to define, depict and present ourselves.

This exhibition is accompanied by a critical essay by Debbie Ebanks Schlums, which can be downloaded HERE.


Jacob Irish and Julie Hall have been working in collaboration since 2013, producing video, installation, and sculptural works. They are settler Canadians who aspire to create work of social significance. Julie’s practice focuses on human perception, philosophy, and language. Julie experiments with various methods of narrative storytelling, such as epic poetry, script writing, and stream of consciousness. Jacob’s practice focuses on the malleability of history and how mythologies and ideologies develop, working in sound, sculpture, drawing, and new media. In the summer of 2017, Jacob was the artist in residence for the Artist At Work Summer Residency Program at FOFA Gallery in Montreal, funded by Young Canada Works. The pair have exhibited their collaborative work at the Art Gallery of Guelph in Guelph, ON, Centre Bang in Chicoutimi, QC, and the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, NS.

Tara Lynn MacDougall is an interdisciplinary artist based in Lethbridge, AB. She received a BFA from NSCAD University in 2007 and an MFA from the University of Lethbridge in 2018. She has presented work in exhibitions throughout Canada and the United States, including the recent Body Collective at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, and It’s worth repeating (so I did) at the Penny Gallery. Her practice combines video, audio, sculpture, printmaking, performance, and painting. Her interest lies in a critical and humourous re-evaluation of the art historical canon, and reconsideration of distinctions between standard labour and artistic production.

Angie Quick (b. 1989, Calgary, AB.) is a self-taught painter and poet working in London, ON. She is known for her large oil paintings which explore flesh in a historical and contemporaneous manner. Her practice experiments with the nature of language and sensation within both a visual and performative context. Her work can be seen on her website.

Debbie Ebanks Schlums is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and Co-Artistic Director of the Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film. Born in Jamaica and raised in Canada, she has lived and worked in Jamaica, Canada, Switzerland and Germany. Her practice explores themes of identity, migration, and persistent colonial/post-colonial structures. She was a founding member of the Out of a War Zone and To Lemon Hill Collectives, both addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. Her work has been shown at various public art galleries and community events in Canada and the US. She is the recipient of various awards including the DAC Reed T. Cooper Bursary, the Ginny Kleker Award for Commitment to the Arts, two OAC Visual Arts Grants and an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Fellowship. Debbie holds degrees in Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations and studied Visual and Critical Studies and Fine Art at the California College of the Arts. She lives in Mulmur, Ontario.

Tara Lynn MacDougall would like to credit Angeline Simon for documentation of her work.
Jacob Irish and Julie Hall would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, as well as Great Lakes Scenic Studios (particularly Sonya Maheux, Jacques Lafrance, and Jane Hill) for their help with fabrication.

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