Gallery4 on the 1st floor: January 2018

an oil painting by Margaret Boyce

The promise of Smoke & Other Certainties by Margaret Boyce 

I was inspired to create this series by the passion for certain insects that have recently transfixed Canadians. I see the widespread turn towards backyard bee-keeping, fueled by emotional responses to the potential loss of pollinators and as other vital beings, as an emblem of our precarious and often contradictory relationship with nature. These works reflect a view of such insects and other beings as bringers of life, but also of pain and fear. Childhood was the usual patchwork of tangents, veering off paths, only to be reminded, agonizingly, that we've entered wasp territory. Likewise, the silent darkness that brackets Hamilton at night time is, without a doubt, coyote territory. It also a space of anticipation. How do we go outside again, venture into tall grasses, without trepidation, especially in tick season? Is the pain of living close to others an uncomfortable reminder about the boundaries of our individuality, or is it the price we pay for getting to experience joy? Put differently, I wonder how we might celebrate life without the promise that suffering and anxiety will be withheld.

Margaret Boyce is a life-long resident of Dundas, Ontario. She has a Masters of Arts in Cultural Studies & Critical Theory (McMaster) and is currently pursuing a PhD in English (McMaster). As a settler on Haudenosaunee, Mississauga and Algonquin land, Margaret is interested in representations and modes of thinking that support settler colonial subjectivity and prevent meaningful engagement with 


Central Library has proudly made gallery space available to downtown customers since 1980. Gallery4 is located on the 1st floor of the Central Library. It has hosted a variety of artists using every medium, from all ranges of paint techniques, photography and 3D installations.

Gallery4 Annex is located on Circuit 4.0 (4th floor Central Library) and provides space for community organizations and individuals to share their works.

Upcoming exhibits at Gallery4

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