January 27 – March 30, 2024

A rose gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it

Waard Ward in collaboration with Anne Campbell, Nicolas Fleming, Reza Nik, Darren Rigo & Alize Zorlutuna

A rose gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it honours the memory of lost land, while exploring the ways that community can support the pursuit of familiarity and homemaking. This immersive exhibition is initiated by the Waard Ward collective, comprised of artist Petrina Ng, cultural worker Patricia Ritacca, educator Laura Ritacca, and three family members from Toronto’s Syrian newcomer community: Hanen Nanaa, Shoruk Alsakni, and Abd Al-Mounim. Waard Ward works as a social practice collective, proposing experimental solutions to employment barriers for newcomers through community-collaborative art projects inspired by floristry and gardening from a decolonial lens.

In the spirit of community, the exhibition also brings together artistic collaborators who have long-standing relationships and shared research interests with the collective: Anne Campbell, Nicolas Fleming, Reza Nik, Darren Rigo, and Alize Zorlutuna. Through photography, ceramics, florals, and a site-specific garden installation, the artists’ works evoke the memory of the Nanaa family’s garden, courtyard, and home, lost in the Syrian war. A rose gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it offers layered complexities for visitors to consider the colonial history of flowers, the legacy of war on land, the imagined landscape, the displacement of people, and the longing for home.