Portrait of the Artist as an Essential Worker

  • May 3, 2024 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Bus Stop Theatre Co-op

    2203 Gottingen Street
    Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 3B5
Ticket Price (CAD) Free This event is now over

Work by Sarah Mosher and Hannah Genosko

[NEW: ASL interpretation will be provided]

In collaboration, Mosher and Genosko use printmaking and textile processes to illustrate their experiences as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are both professional artists who were employed in ‘casual’ day jobs in sectors that were labeled essential and became full-time during the COVID-19 pandemic: the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and Canada Post, respectively. With their similar experiences they dig deeper into the ‘essential’ label where art and work don’t often intersect. They explore the repetitive nature of labour through the repetitive nature of printmaking, and create images relevant to their experience; the images are printed on the uniforms they and their coworkers wore during their time of essential sector work. Folk quilting traditionally uses old clothes and other found materials for utility, and the shape of the garments inform the geometry of the quilt. The uniforms are sewn into quilted banners that do not follow a traditional repeating pattern or conform to a rectangle, but rather use patchwork and appliqué techniques to create an uncertain feeling. This method reflects the ever-changing and disjointed nature of the pandemic.

Sarah’s instagram is @realpzzazz

Two large quilts on display at the Bus Stop Theatre, April 1st to June 30th

Reception and Artist Talk, May 3rd 5:00PM – 7:00PM

Date & Time

Fri., May 3, 2024 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Venue Details

Bus Stop Theatre Co-op

2203 Gottingen Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 3B5 Bus Stop Theatre Co-op
Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax

May 1st is marked throughout the world as International Workers’ Day, or May Day. A day when the workers of the world take to the streets (when not facing a pandemic) in every major city around the globe demanding justice, fairness and dignity for all. In North America, May Day has not been as prominent as it is in other parts of the world, but it is still celebrated in most major cities with a variety of political and community actions.  However, May Day isn’t simply a celebration of labour. It is a rallying call against our current economic system, a public declaration that “Capitalism Isn’t Working For Workers,” and an affirmation that a better world is possible.

One of the ways various labour councils and unions mark May Day is through the Mayworks Festival. Mayworks was originally conceived in 1986 by the Toronto and York District Labour Council and the idea has since spread to many cities across the country. The goal behind Mayworks is to bring workers and artists together and to use art to explore themes of justice, solidarity and liberation. Art has always been an important way of expressing political statements and Mayworks continues a long tradition of building bonds of solidarity between artists and labour organizations.

The first annual Mayworks Halifax festival took place in 2009 thanks to the organizing efforts of the Halifax-Dartmouth & District Labour Council. Our festival has since grown exponentially from year to year and has now become Nova Scotia’s largest social justice-themed cultural event. Annually, our festival attracts over a thousand diverse audience members who take interest in issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

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