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Left: Sahar Abarasteh, 'Autobiographical Memory' exhibition (detail image) Right: Michelle Gagné-Orr, 'Personified Spectre' exhibition (detail image)

MFA Thesis Exhibition 2020: Sahar Abarasteh and Michelle Gagné-Orr

November 26, 2020 — 

The School of Art and School of Art Gallery are pleased to present thesis exhibitions and oral examinations by two Master of Fine Art students: Sahar Abarasteh and Michelle Gagné-Orr.


MFA Thesis Exhibitions
November 27 – December 18, 2020

Notice: In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the School of Art Gallery is temporarily closed to the public, but we encourage you to attend the virtual defences and watch out for additional media and virtual tours coming soon! ⁠


Sahar Abarasteh, MFA Exhibition 2020, Poster

Sahar Abarasteh: Autobiographical Memory

“The series represent a journey, which started since I arrived in Winnipeg in 2017: a journey through my memories. My final works here are a natural continuation to the earlier ones. Immigration was the trigger to this journey, as the scenes and images of the past started to come back, yet with more emotional impact, because in this new context they had started to mean differently. They became the tools to make sense of the past in the light of the present and to reconstruct a new self, a new identity. They represent a blend of near and far pasts, personal and collective memories, and private to public scopes, as is the autobiography in a postmodern world.”

Sahar Abarasteh



Michelle Gagné-Orr, Personified Spectre Exhibition Poster

Michelle Gagné-Orr: Personified Spectre

“The photographs in Personified Spectre are an exploration of my fears; of the things I see in the shadows. The large-scale black and white photographs explore spectres that are perceived and convey my experiences and anxieties. The rich grey photographic grains seemingly dissolve into the black shadows of the artwork and ghostly spectres haunt the frame. The figure in the photograph represents my fears and perceived threats, rather than the fear of a physical presence but something intangible – ghosts or spectres. Drawing on metaphysical and psychological theory and photographic history I re-enact the spectres before the camera to be captured and frozen in time by the film. The art work depicts the self, the self as the other and the absence of either. Personified Spectre invites the viewer into my mind to experience my anxieties through my large-scale photographs.”

Michelle Gagné-Orr


Oral Examinations: 

The public is welcome to attend the students’ virtual oral examinations via Zoom.



For more information, contact School of Art Media and Events Support Coordinator Cailyn Harrison,

School of Art Gallery
255 ARTlab, 180 Dafoe Road




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