Sally Morgan: Bonding Agents or Directives for Mum
Photo by Hanna Wolfe

ID: A figure stands in a snow-covered field with bare trees in the background. The figure wears black leggings and has a large piece of red fabric draped over their head and around their torso, which they clutch against their body. 

Ruth Douthwright: threads
Photo by 
Michaela Devine Altenburg

ID: a close up photo of white fabric with a white twisted fringe. Sewn into the fabric are red threads 

Jessica Winton: SMILE!
Photo by Hannah Minzloff

ID: An ornate brass birdcage hangs from a brass structure. The cage is round and roughly as high as it is wide. The wires at the front of the cage are pulled apart, and sitting at the bottom of the cage is a birds nest.

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this body of work

26 May – 18 Jun 2023

This Body of Work: Rendering, reassembling, and performing motherworlds

by the sense archive


This Body of Work is an interdisciplinary exhibition that grew from self-directed Artist Residencies in Motherhood (ARIM). This Body of Work explores critical feminist performance(s) of motherhood and maternal agency through lived bodily/cellular experiences and locates the body as the initial source and archive for the labour/work of the m/other. 

We have created works that span photography, sculpture, sound, video, text, new media, and performance that consider themes of care, trauma, loss, lineage, identity, emotional bonds, oral/object histories, and memory.
We expose the labour, performance, and experience of motherhood and have allowed it to inform our work. We use a critical feminist perspective to disrupt cultural and perceptual norms. We make the work and are the work. the sense archive employs the word “mother’ as a verb in our approach and in considering our inclusive and extended audience—an audience that includes all those who mother.

the sense archive is interested in exploring, reading, and transcribing the body as the site of narratives that shape us as artists/mothers. We believe in activating research and artistic work that challenges patriarchal ideations of motherhood. We are focused on, and committed to, creating socially engaged work that values the body and the embodied experience. 

the sense archive, Ruth Douthwright (ON), Sally Morgan (NS), and Jessica Winton (NS), are white, cis-gendered, artists, educators, and mothers, living and working in Kanata/Canada. Our initial collaborative efforts, supported by the curatorial consultation of Becka Viau, are focussed on developing our first major project in two parts—a live performance work and a gallery exhibition—titled This Body of Work.


The artists acknowledge, honour, and are thankful for the land we live with and on. Sally and Jessica live in Kjipuktuk/Halifax located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. This territory is covered by the Treaties of Peace and Friendship which the Mi’kmaq, Wəlastəkwiyik (Maliseet), and the Passamaquoddy signed in 1726. Ruth lives in London, Ontario, located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Chonnonton Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum.

This project is presented in partnership with Mayworks Festival of Working People and The Arts, and Saint Mary's University Art Gallery with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Nova Scotia. The artists gratefully acknowledge the curatorial consultation of Becka Viau. 



access notes

SMU Art Gallery is wheelchair accessible and the entire university campus is scent-free. Most doors on campus have working push-button switches, but the doors to the gallery do not currently have working push-buttons. Gallery and Eyelevel staff will be available to assist with doors. 

Gender-neutral washrooms are located close to the gallery. From the gallery entrance head toward the residence security desk, turn right at the desk and the two washrooms are just past the residence administration office on the right.  Gendered washrooms are located across the hall from Tim Hortons. SMU Art Gallery or Eyelevel staff will be available during all opening hours to assist with directions and answer questions. 

All programming and didactic materials are in English-only, if you require ASL interpretation, visual description or translation please contact Sally, Eyelevel Artistic co-Director at



  • From Inglis Bus Stop: Follow pathways through campus, enter Loyola Academic Building, continue straight through building past Tim Hortons, Gallery on the right at the end of the hallway.
  • From Robie Street: Follow main entrance through gates down to parking roundabout, enter Loyola Academic Building on right, continue straight through building past Tim Hortons, Gallery on the right at the end of the hallway.
  • From Gorsebrook Avenue: The main Loyola Academic entrance on Gorsebrook Ave. is CLOSED because of construction. There are other entrances: a) down the construction ramp alongside Sobey building  b) through the Rice/Loyola residence halls (this route has stairs).

Once in the Loyola Academic Building, follow campus signage for the Art Gallery, the gallery is located across from an information desk. The entrance is currently under construction and the exterior wall and gallery doors are painted with a mural.  There are some doors still without accessible switches. The Art Gallery door is one of them. 

Parking Note: All campus lots are PAID parking. They are regularly monitored and vehicles without passes are ticketed. Street parking rules have also recently changed.