PhD in Studies & Practices in Art

Studies  in progress / Études en cour

University of Quebec à Montreal, Montréal (Québec)

Research Assistant & Curator for Témoigner pour agir

Testimonial Cultures research group

Principal Investigator: Maria Nengeh Mensah, PhD – Université du Québec à Montréal.


This research-intervention project places itself within an expanded field of curatorial practice of participatory exhibition development. While using the exhibition Témoigner pour agir as a case study, a participatory approach to exhibition creation is used as means of actuating social justice, for those who in this particular instance, share testimonials about sex, gender, work and HIV-status. Though the exhibition, per say, is not the focus of the proposed study. What is being investigated is the practice of curating. Here, the practice is collaborative, with shared roles in the curatorial process between community partner organizations, myself, Prof. Mensah, as well as the Service aux collectivités.


This project has three objectives. First, to record my own activities, thoughts, and emotions, I experience as the curator within the exhibition project by way of an autoethnography. Second, gather the points of view of the people involved in the co-curatorial and production process of the exhibition, documenting the methods developed for each step of the planning and implementation of the exhibition by using participant observations, process documentation, and semi-structured interviews. Thirdly, to analyze, through a heuristic inquiry, the method of co-curating as a whole and identify the innovations, challenges, and benefits of the process.


The project's conceptual framework is centered around the telling of queer stories through visual art. These types of public testimonial employ notions of identity, through personal testimonial. Queer and intersectional theory confronts stereotypes and stigmas through raising consciousness and reforming relationships through the representations of self and experience.


As an intervention, it is situated within comprehensive qualitative research that engages in participatory action-research. The result will be a heuristic inquiry that brings together multiple perspectives on the concept of co-curating.







Master of Art & Glass Science (Mestrado em Arte e Ciência do Vidro)

October 2011 - Universidade Nova de Lisboa & Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon (Portugal)



Velas Içadas: Navigating emotion in a sea of science



I arrived in Portugal to learn the science of glass and to develop as an artist using glass.  Fascinated by science and the mysterious world it presents, I started in earnest to try to express that new awareness as it collided with my internal world. What is the connection between art and science? Grappling with this question I began to explore. These explorations expressed in projects gave voice to how I feel about the totality of this potent experience. Here I will examine three of my artistic endeavours: Glass/Glace, an outdoor installation on the FCT campus; Observations, a solo exhibition on the FCT campus; and my thesis exhibition Velas Içadas presented at the Museu da Água, Reservatório da Patriarcal in Lisbon. These presentations of my work show my development. They also suggest how the stimulus of the scientific study and the experience of living in this foreign land can develop an artistic practice as it changes the artist. A crucial moment in that growth was the realization that science can be an inspiration without being the subject of my art. In my thesis exhibition, in order to understand where I was and the emotions that I had, I looked back in time using the history of my island home of Newfoundland and its five-century-old relationship with Portugal. Using historical maps and icons of sea exploration as well as personal symbols, such as the rose, I came to a greater understanding of not only these shared histories but of myself and my world.



Art & Science, Newfoundland, Portugal, age of exploration, maps

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