Pio Abad Splendour
31 March – 2 June 2019

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

In Pio Abad's Splendour, the London, UK-based artist brings together objects and images that draw connections between specific moments of political and economic upheaval, from the fall of Cold War-era dictatorships that erroneously heralded “the end of history" to the economic crises of 2008 that brought us to our current age of political disenchantment.

Lifting its title from a play by Abi Morgan, which takes place in a drawing room amidst the imminent collapse of an unnamed autocracy, the exhibition imagines Gairloch Gardens as the setting of another scene of political devolution and decay. Among other things, photographs of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu's chintzy interiors, replicas of Margaret Thatcher's black leather handbag, and drawings of the Lehman Brothers' collection of Chinese porcelain occupy the rooms of the former house to comprise an inventory of neoliberal fantasy through decorative things.

Splendour continues Abad's ongoing interest in the role that domestic objects play in these narratives. Deployed strategically by those in power, they are often the only things left to remain after the inevitable fall from grace—artefacts and auguries of cyclical histories. Drawing on Gairloch Gardens' status as an architectural copy of HG Wells' Surrey home, Splendour reflects on the roles of repetition and mistranslation in our understanding of history and asks how we might meaningfully go forward at this moment of worldwide political unease.

Opening Hours

in Gairloch Gardens

Tuesday to Sunday: 1:00 pm–5:00 pm

Please note that the Galleries will be closed April 19 & 21.

Related Programs

ARTbus: Exhibition Tour

31 March 2019

Ride the ARTbus and discover some of the season's best exhibitions in the GTA! Visit the Ryerson Image Centre, the Art Gallery of Burlington and Oakville Galleries.

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Authors on Art: Terri Favro

30 May 2019

Join us for our Authors on Art series with acclaimed writer Terri Favro. Held alongside Pio Abad's exhibition, which brings together a series of objects and images that draw connections between moments of political and economic upheaval, this talk will see Favro explore how the Bomb continues to inspire her stories

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Ceramic Glamour

1 June 2019

This one-day workshop with Janet Hinkle of Hinkleville Handmade will see participants build and glaze wearable ceramic jewelry. Drawing inspiration from precious stones, jewels, metals and other luxury items, this workshop will cover the basics of hand-building with clay and various underglazing techniques.

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Family Art Workshop

26 May 2019

Bring the whole family to Oakville Galleries for an exhibition tour and hands-on art activity inspired by the work of Pio Abad. A parent or guardian must accompany children for the duration of their visit.

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Related exhibitions

Rebecca Brewer & Rochelle Goldberg

31 March – 2 June 2019 Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square

Waves and Waves emerges from the dialogue of longtime friends and artists Rochelle Goldberg and Rebecca Brewer, whose distinct ideas unfold here in a shared space for the first time. The exhibition explores assumptions about ecology and human life, with each artist presenting works evocative of a drowned world, investigating the sensorial, emotional and perceptual experience of submergence.

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