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Jaswant Guzder – Navigating East West Hybridities


Vernissage: Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 6 pm
Exhibition: June 3-23
Artist’s Talk: Thursday, June 16 at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the work of Jaswant Guzder, artist, writer, internationally renowned psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. This exhibition showcases a large number of works on paper created over several years.

Guzder’s art is intuitive and expressive. She employs the simplest of means: ink, watercolour, brushes and paper. To these she may add collage. Intermittently, she works on large canvas. Regardless of surface, the fluid mediums of ink and watercolour are perfectly suited to the articulation of a world beyond the ordinary, a watery psychic realm where boundaries are loosened as the self shifts in constant metamorphosis.

Much of Guzder’s artwork flows out of, and responds to her clinical work with refugees who have suffered displacement, loss and trauma. Their plight and stories of migration, however, are also hers. A child of South Asian parents, she understands first hand the diasporic struggle to belong, the quest for identity and the urgent need to define home.

The artist creates in series; the work may take a month, a week, a day. Such intense immersion encourages free association, plummeting the artist into a place where intuition, memory and felt experience converse and reveal. She continually navigates “east/west hybridities,” working with themes of exile, displacement and vulnerability and mining a wealth of cultural cosmologies, ideas and memories towards a visual mythos that poetically explores the struggles of transcultural identity.

Dr. Jaswant Guzder is Head of Child Psychiatry and Director of Childhood Disorders Day Hospital at the Centre for Child Development and Mental Health, Senior Consultant and former founding Co-Director of Cultural Consultation Service, Director for Family Therapy Residency Fellowship in Family Therapy at the Jewish General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. She is Professor, McGill Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Associate of McGill School of Social Work and psychoanalyst involved in clinical work, teaching, research and global mental health projects (mainly in Jamaica and India currently). Despite her many professional activities, she has sustained an active art practice that reflects her work with multicultural communities and refugee populations. Guzder has exhibited her work widely over the years in Canada and abroad in both group and solo exhibitions as well as contributing illustrations and cover designs for books and publications. Jaswant Guzder received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contributions to McGill and to the community at large.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 pm to 6 pm; Saturday 12 to 5 pm
galeriemcclure@centredesartsvisuels.ca