Dina Hamed, Emily Hamel and Clara Laratta


Opening Reception: July 20, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

REALMS, featuring the work of Dina Hamed, Emily Hamel and Clara Laratta engages with themes of spirituality; in this context, a phenomena identifying the ways in which the human spirit is connected. Intersectional narratives emerge through each artist’s diverse lived experiences including those of religion, culture, ethnicity, feminism, identity, biophilia and naturalism.

Hamed’s interactive audio-based installation, Al-Sulta the arabic word for “authority,” critically explores notions of authoritarianism present within mainstream Islam. Using recitation of the Holy Quran, she attempts to reclaim access to the ancient text and the right to its interpretation and implementation. Hamel’s series of work, Displacement comments on the ephemeral and fleeting nature of memory, and reflects on how her own early experiences effect her life today.  She has manipulated and transformed a number of scrambled family snapshots into vivid and transitory digital projection works, which run on short loops. Laratta explores the human experience through a connection to the earth as spiritual space. This exploration culminates with a series of graphite drawings depicting the spiritual exchange between humans and natural elements.

The works on display, despite each artist’s highly individualized approach, acknowledge how these experiences likewise contribute to a collective understanding of spiritual space. “How can our experiences tell us about ourselves and each other as inquisitive, self-reflective, and interconnected beings?”

This exhibition will be accompanied by a critical essay written by Emily Hamel.

Dina Hamed is a Canadian-Egyptian emerging artist, Muslim woman, student at McMaster University, and apprentice for ceramic sculptor Jordi Alfaro. With a commitment to bricolage, she uses a variety of mediums to explore identity and religious practices. Recently her solo work focuses on deconstructing the ideologies of mainstream “Islam”; challenging the ideals surrounding modesty and the authoritative forces that drive conventional practicing Muslims. Dina has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, has written for and been featured in several publications, and has work in numerous private collections. For the past 9 months she has been working collaboratively with Evan Jamieson-Eckel, an emerging Indigenous artist, on a piece titled “150 Years of Resilience: An Untold History.” Commissioned by the McMaster University Mills Library the piece critically addresses Canada’s 150th anniversary and will be on exhibit at the Fitzhenry Atrium Gallery in McMaster University on Tuesday, September 26th 2017. www.dinahamed.com

Emily Hamel is an emerging interdisciplinary artist currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. She is entering her fourth and final year of the McMaster University Studio Art Program in September. Here, Emily has refined her skillset and has worked in various mediums such as large-scale illustration and print media. Within the last year, she has developed a keen interest in multimedia and digital artwork, attracted to the abstraction that can be obtained through using (or misusing) rudimentary video editing software. Emily has exhibited her work numerous times in the Hamilton area, as well as the GTA. She has completed a number of commissions, including those intended for private collections, as well as corporate marketing for international clothing retailer Aritzia.

Clara Laratta is a visual artist interested in the human experience. Her current work examines the ways we are connected to one another, animals, nature and the universe. Clara has experience in a variety of different media and depicts these relationships through sculpture, painting and drawing. Clara’s recent exhibitions and residencies include Ryerson University at the Milk Glass Gallery, Toronto (2017) McMaster University at various locations including the New Space Gallery, Hamilton (2016), the Flex Studio (2016) and President’s Corridor (2015, 2016, 2017), Hamilton Artist’s Inc. Hamilton (2016) and a residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto (2016). Her work can be found in various private collections and at McMaster University. Clara has been featured in numerous articles and publications including Incite Magazine, The Hamilton Spectator, and Cobalt Connects. www.claralaratta.com