*Featured image: The Letter [detail], Photograph of Submission Writing to Letters to the Earth: Between Despair and Hope

Letters to the Earth:
Between Despair and Hope

A group exhibition curated by Carmel Brennan

In-gallery: June 3 – August 23, 2023
Online: June 3 – September 8, 2023

Notice of temporary gallery location: Please be advised that this exhibition is in our temporary gallery at Aurora Town Hall (second floor), 100 John West Way, Aurora ONPlease follow the entry instructions as noted on the Gallery Info page in planning your visit.  

Lament (2022), D. Ahsén:nase Douglas, Oil on linen, 40 x 40 in

Letters to the Earth: Between Despair and Hope is a conversation about the environmental crisis happening around the world and affecting Canadians directly. Prompted by curator Carmel Brennan, artists wrote a “letter to the earth” as part of their commitment to this exhibition; one exhibition of several occurring across Canada and abroad throughout 2023-2024 

Letters to the Earth was a campaign begun in 2019 in the UK with a book of that title, in response to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland. The campaign called for a response to the awareness of climate change and an ecological emergency. “Letters to the Earth”, and a phrase spoken by Australian artist, Janet Laurence about being “between despair and hope’, struck me as significant. Letters to the Earth is an ongoing campaign. It is spreading around the world. To take a quote from the book of the same name, ‘we need to rethink and re-imagine what was previously deemed impossible. The stakes couldn’t be greater the time for action is now.’ I am on board with this action: Letters to the Earth – Between Despair and Hope.”  

– Carmel Brennan, Curator of Letters to the Earth: Between Despair and Hope 

Vertical Indoor Garden (2023), Phil Fung

Participating Artists 

Dara Aram, Valerie Ashton, Ron Baird, Diana Bennett, Carmel Brennan, Nancy R. Chalut, Sarah Cowley, Jaya Datta, Sheila Davis, Gordana Olujic Dosic, D. Ahsén-nase Douglas, Jean Eng, Cesar Forero, Sharron Corrigan Forrest, Phil Fung, Nevaeh Michiko Hanna, Karissa Joy Tamiko Hanna, Janet Hendershot, Robin Kingsburgh, Melissa Kraft, Bert Liverance, Ian Mackenzie, Mary Akemi Morris, Joseph Muscat, Mary Ng, Christl Niemuller,  Katharine J. Palmer, Frances Patella, Dominique Prevost, Mark Puigmarti, Doris Purchase, Janet Read, Susan Ruptash, Quan Steele, Janice Mason Steeves, Carol Grant Stevens, Charles Stevens, Joanna Swann, Ernestine Tahedl, Judith Tinkl, Grazyna Tonkiel, Norma Vieira, Lillian Michiko Yano, Akira Yoshikawa, and students from Waabgon Gamig First Nation School, Georgina Island. 

About the Curator 

Carmel Brennan born in England, was educated at George Washington University (Washington D.C.), University of Toronto, and York University. She completed a Master’s Degree at the University of the Highlands and Islands (Scotland). She is a visual arts educator and environmental activist. She exhibits her artwork province-wide and opens her studio in Sunderland, Ontario, to visitors every year as part of the Uxbridge Studio Tour. In 2021, she curated The Conversation with the Aurora Cultural Centre. 

Virtual Gallery

June 3 – September 8, 2023

Explore the exhibition in this 360 Virtual Gallery. Feel like you’re there in person as you travel through the exhibition, seeing the scale of the artworks and how they speak to each other.

  • Click or tap to explore and/or drag to look around
  • Click on the blue circles for the label information for each artwork and click “View More” for the link to purchase
  • If you are on a PC or Laptop, the virtual gallery is best viewed in full screen and using the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers
  • If you are on a cellphone, the virtual gallery is best viewed in landscape mode

Photo Gallery 

  • Click the thumbnail image to enlarge the image and to see the label information and link to purchase
  • Use the arrows on either side of the enlarged image to scroll through the gallery
  • For the best viewing experience, we recommend using a desktop computer and Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browser

Meta-Morphosis (2022) 

Norma Viera (Brazil) 


2 minutes and 25 seconds 

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