The PHI Foundation presents Sonia Boyce, Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos from May 3 to September 8, 2024

The PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to unveil two robust and dynamic exhibitions for its spring/summer 2024 season

Montreal, Quebec, Feb. 20, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --


Curated by: Cheryl Sim

Making its North American debut, FEELING HER WAY, which was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2022, is an immersive installation by British Afro-Caribbean artist Sonia Boyce, consisting of bespoke wallpaper, posters, photography, sculpture, video, and sound.

Taking over the gallery spaces located on 465 Saint-Jean Street, this monumental work invites us into a sumptuous visual and sonic polyphony that centres around the vocal performances and improvisation of four acclaimed Black female singers: Poppy Ajudha, Jacqui Dankworth MBE, Sofia Jernberg, and Tanita Tikaram. Initiated and organized by the PHI Foundation, this is the artist’s first major exhibition in North America and kicks off a tour of the work to venues across Canada. Following its presentation in Montréal, the exhibition will travel to the Art Gallery of Ontario as part of the Toronto Biennial of Art in September 2024.

Sonia Boyce DBE RA (b. London, 1962) is an interdisciplinary artist and academic working across film, drawing, photography, print, sound, and installation. Boyce came to prominence in the early 1980s as a key figure in the burgeoning British Black Arts Movement with figurative pastel drawings and photo collages that addressed issues of race and gender in Britain. Since the 1990s, however, Boyce has shifted significantly to embrace a social practice that invites improvisation, collaboration, movement, and sound with other people. Working across a range of media, Boyce’s practice today is focused on questions of artistic authorship and cultural difference.

Her work is in many UK and international museum collections including Tate, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Arts Council Collection of England, London; British Council, London; Government Art Collection, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, and Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP), Paris.

FEELING HER WAY by Sonia Boyce DBE RA was commissioned by the British Council for the 59th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, 2022.

The PHI Foundation gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for their support.

Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos: Efflorescence/The Way We Wake

Curated by: Cheryl Sim

Inhabiting the 451 Saint-Jean Street building, this duo exhibition showcases recent painting and sculpture works produced by artists Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos from 2021 to 2024, and begins with the collaborative piece after which the show is named.

In 2020, the PHI Foundation presented a major group show titled RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting, which included the work of the two artists. When Perera visited the exhibition and encountered Santos’s paintings for the first time, she felt an instant, deeply resonant connection. This moment of mutual recognition sparked the beginning of a relationship that would manifest itself in Perera’s invitation to Santos to collaborate on a duo presentation at The Armory Show in New York, in September of 2023. As one of the very best offerings at this thirty-year-old art fair, it was the spark that ignited the organization of this exhibition.

Presenting over thirty works, this exhibition is organized for people to appreciate each artist’s individual practices and to revel in their formal and conceptual affinities. What emanates throughout are vibrations of female power, that reverberate with instincts towards constant care, protection and the honouring of each of their personal stories and heritages. Through many entry points, Efflorescence/The Way We Wake invites us into a pantheon of kindred spirits.

Rajni Perera was born in Sri Lanka in 1985 and lives and works in Toronto. Perera seeks to open and reveal the dynamism of the icons, beings, and objects she creates by means of a subversive aesthetic that counteracts antiquated, oppressive discourse, and acts as a restorative force. Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the McMichael Gallery, PHI Foundation (Montréal), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto), The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Gwangju Biennale (South Korea), Colomboscope (Sri Lanka), and Eastside Projects (UK) among others. She is in numerous collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the McMicheal Canadian Art Collection, and the Sobey Foundation. She was awarded the Sauer Art Prize at the Armory Show in 2023, was the recipient of the MOCA Toronto Award in 2022, and was the Ontario region finalist for the Sobey Art Award in 2021.

Marigold Santos was born in the Philippines, and immigrated with her family to Canada in 1988. She pursues an interdisciplinary art practice that examines notions of heritage, folklore, motherwork, and decolonization presented within the otherworldly. Her paintings, drawings, sculptures, and tattoo work explores self-hood and identity that embraces multiplicity, fragmentation, and empowerment, as informed by diasporic experiences. She holds a BFA from the University of Calgary, and an MFA from Concordia University. As a recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, she continues to exhibit widely across Canada.


Sofia wallpaper, 2022 Efflorescence/The Way We Wake (detail), 2023