Sharl G. Smith - (a)Mending: the ọ́bị̀à experience

installation image of Sharl Smith work Clay and Glass from 2023

Sharl G. Smith, AGO x RBC Artist-in-Residence. Photo by Conan Stark.

@ 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Included in General Admission. Free for Members and Annual Pass holders


Sharl G. Smith - (a)Mending: the ọ́bị̀à experience

Sunday, July 14, 2 pm
Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario

In response to the theme of movement, sculptor and AGO x RBC Artist-In-Residence Sharl G. Smith premiers a performance work that builds upon ongoing research and the experience of beading large-scale networks of tension and geometry into sculptural forms. Smith’s large beadwork sculptures insist on a collaborative practice, requiring multiple people to choreograph their movements together to make the sculpture. The artist brings this making method to the stage in exploring her Jamaican culture through the lens of African diasporic spiritual heritage and her art practice. She offers a shared experience, centered on survival, healing, and rebuilding, and aims to give light, air and breath through these histories.

(a)Mending: the ọ́bị̀à experience explores sounds and movements from pre-colonial West Africa that endured the Atlantic Slave Trade and transformed into Ọ́bị̀à, Myal, and Revivalism in the Caribbean and Americas. It celebrates these potent medicinal practices, rooted in indigenous energy-based sciences, as a restorative antidote to ongoing colonial violence. Through a live interactive bead weaving ceremony, the audience will participate in creating a new beadwork sculpture while being immersed in waves of acoustic vibrations.

This performance was developed in part by Virtu Arts Theatre

Sharl G. Smith, RBCxAGO Artist-in-Residence 

Vanessa Spence, Creative Director, Producer

Alexandra Kane, Music Director

Jillia Cato, Movement Director

Emerjade Simms, Performer

JD Leslie, Performer

Chiamaka Glory, Performer

Megan Legesse, Performer

Special thank you to the London Gospel Collective featuring Calvin Lawrence, George Carlson McLeary, Dillon Vyn, Mabel Kane, Gloria Jones, and Sarah Abbott.

For requests for Verbal Description, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and/or live captioning for online and onsite programming, please provide three weeks notice in advance of the event date. The AGO will make every effort to provide accommodation for requests made with less than three weeks notice. Please note that automated captioning is available for all online programs. For onsite visits, the AGO offers these supports for an accessible visit. Please contact us to make a request for these or other accessibility accommodations. Learn more about accessibility at the AGO.


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