This elegant silver edged crystal bowl once sat on her mother’s dresser. One of several photographs taken by Shani Mootoo—the ‘History Revisited Series’ chronicles objects and spaces from her childhood home in Trinidad. The glass bowl inherited by the artist is now filled with a collection of mementos. Like the family member who travels 'back home' to visit aged relatives, Mootoo has photographed the spaces therein to capture--perhaps for posterity, perhaps for the nostalgia, the history of the generations laid one on top of the other, each layer creating a pentimento of stories. Her compelling photographs invite the viewer to explore these intimate images. What do you see?
“It’s more than a still life…in a sense it’s a portrait with reference to my mother who apparently I look like.” Shani Mootoo
An accomplished writer, filmmaker, painter and photographer Shani Mootoo earned a BFA from the University of Western Ontario, and an MA in English from the University of Guelph. She has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel, Polar Vortex, has been shortlisted for the 2020 Giller Prize.
Mootoo's paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally, most notably at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Queen’s Museum in NYC, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, and at the Venice Biennale.
Her videos include “English Lesson”, “Wild Woman in The Woods” and “Her Sweetness Lingers,” and have been screened in film and video festivals and art exhibitions locally and internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.