Back to All Events

Meryl McMaster: Confluence - Opening Reception & Curator's Talk


We’re celebrating the DMG’s new exhibition ‘Meryl McMaster: Confluence’ with an opening reception – with the artist in attendance – and talk by curator Heather Anderson.

In her photographs, in which her body is placed centrally in front of the camera, Meryl McMaster transforms her appearance – layering photographic images onto her body or through elaborate costumes and props she creates and inhabits as alter egos. An individual of Plains Cree and Euro-Canadian heritage, McMaster explores the dimensions of her own sense of identity, and the complex history of the photographic representation of Indigenous peoples.

The reception runs from 5 - 8:30 pm, with the curator’s talk at 7 pm.

Take the bus! FREE shuttle bus to the DMG departs OCADU (100 McCaul) at 6 pm, returning at 9 pm. First come, first served.


Meryl McMaster: Confluence
November 3 - December 10, 2016
Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough
Produced by Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa

Meryl McMaster’s potent, alluring photographs explore the fluid domain of identity, and the possibilities of examining and revisioning the self and its representation. This exhibition, produced by Carleton University Art Gallery and curated by Heather Anderson, comprises three bodies of work that collectively trace the evolution of McMaster’s practice. The DMG’s presentation is the second venue in the Canada-wide tour.

The Ancestral series explores the idea of heritage through a combination of portraits and self-portraits. Late 19th century historical images of various Aboriginal men and women are digitally projected onto the faces of the artist and her father. With this series, McMaster inserts historical bodies into the present, bringing together old and new, as a way of looking at the past through the present.

In-Between Worlds explores the mixing and transforming of bi-cultural identities – Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian – addressing the idea of liminality, of being betwixt and between cultural identities and histories. ‘In-Between Worlds’ is a sequence of moments that appear out of the ordinary and can be interpreted as being in a state of suspended belief. Talisman and prop-like sculptures become extensions of the body that suggests a collaging of identities.

Wandering explores the unknown and considers the limitation and possibilities of the self. A red thread or the colour red follows the artist throughout the images, illustrating this indivisible connection to home or the past. At the same time, this series addresses the boundless possibilities of the self, as the dreamlike images enable the viewer to get lost within their own thoughts and imaginations.

The DMG’s presentation of ‘Confluence’ is generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council and sponsored in part by MBNA.


Meryl McMaster is a Canadian-based artist and a graduate in photography from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her artistic practice begins with photography, evoking a journey that follows a path of self-discovery. She is interested in exploring questions of how we construct our sense of self through lineage, history, and culture. McMaster is the recipient of the Canon Canada Prize, the Nora E. Vaughan Award, the Design Medal from OCAD, the Vistek Photography Award, Heartline Pictures Award, and SNAP!Stars TD Award.

Doris McCarthy Gallery (DMG) at University of Toronto Scarborough

1265 Military Trail, Toronto, Ontario M1C1A4