Fredericton Feminist Film Collective introduces virtual showcase “Yearning”

"Searching for Pat Olsen: An Abridged Oral History of HMV Polo Park," pictured above, is a short stop motion film produced by Casey Burkholder.

A new exhibition by the Fredericton Feminist Film Collective aims to demonstrate feelings of longing and community through art.

Yearning is a virtual showcase that features pieces from multiple mediums, all highlighting what it means to wait.

“I was imagining the bleakness of January and I thought it might be nice to think through the feeling of yearning,” said Casey Burkholder, group co-founder and University of New Brunswick professor.

A wide range of pieces, besides film, were submitted, including songs, poetry, photography and comics. Despite the difference in the art styles, they share the common theme of yearning.

The organizers of the event chose not to turn away any artists, so all submissions will be displayed during the showcase. 

“That’s sort of our ethos … There’s no assumption of technical expertise or artistic prowess. It’s really just about making something together,” said Burkholder.

An in-person showcase is not likely to happen in the near future due to gathering restrictions. But, the group seized this moment as an opportunity to fully promote itself online.

Burkholder thinks that by being fully online, they reached artists around the province who otherwise wouldn’t be in a Fredericton gallery.

“There are people who’ve submitted [art] that I’ve never met, which is exciting. People who are located beyond here in Wolastoqiyik territory,” she said.

The collective was created in 2017 by Burkholder and a fellow UNB professor, Sabine Lebel.

Burkholder arrived at the university for her job around the same time as Lebel and the pair realized they had a shared interest in participatory art, specifically film production.

She said they wanted to build a community around movies and critical thinking. Limited to cell phone productions in the beginning, they would make short films based on simple concepts.

“Since that time … our art practices have shifted, but it’s still really just about community, our production and making sense of this place, time and space,” said Burkholder.

The collective is always open to new members who want to join their community without any special requirements.

“It’s for everyone. The [Feminist Film] Collective is about the world and making art from an intersectional-feminist position,” she said. “It really just means exploring systems and structures as a collective.”

Their next project will be doing daily art prompts and analyzing what they get back in return.

“I have a tendency to get a bit sad in the winter,” said Burkholder. “I find it helpful to turn those kinds of feelings toward something productive, especially if I feel like there’s a way to make community out of it.”