Members’ Gallery

Aichoucha Haidara: I, The Wearer

September 1 – October 20, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9, 7–10PM
Live painting performance: Saturday, September 9, 8–9 PM

Portrait of Aichoucha Haidara wearing handwoven textile for “Me-You-Her”, 2023. 

Aichoucha Haidara: I, The Wearer

“This exhibition explores my journey of finding healing through grief. After the loss of my sister, I was in a very obscure place but realized that creating is the only way I can overcome this suffering. Through my art, my intent is to create worlds where her and her visions can live on. The world that I have been working on for the past year explores the ideas of masks, costumes and other handmade objects that serve as an integral part of Malian ritual practices.

Death and loss are experiences that we will all have to face. Studying how different African cultures engage with them has inspired me to keep going and growing. Burial ceremonies often take the form of celebrations of life with people wearing garments and masks that may represent spirits or ancestors that have crossed over. Like these traditional ceremonies, through my art, I am able to continue the celebration of my sister’s life, the hopes and dreams she left behind and the better worlds she could have been a part of creating.

I, the wearer, can become a medium for the dialogue between the people and the spirits. Through music, dance and costume, the mask-wearer is transformed, concealing their human identity and temporarily allowing them to channel the spirits.

In this ongoing series, I will be creating costumes that represent different concepts, cultures and humans who have made a mark on their community while they were in our world. I hope to keep researching the art, costumes and material explorations that characterize African rituals and ceremonies.”
– Aichoucha Haidara


Aichoucha Haidara is a multidisciplinary artist from Timbuktu, currently based in Hamilton, ON. Through different mediums, she transports her inner worlds to the outside, with a primary focus on textile design and construction. She is inspired by African mythology and concepts to guide her work, conducting research that has allowed her to stay connected to her roots since her move to Canada. She is passionate about sharing Malian culture and linking the past, present and future through African art. @aichoucha.atelier

This exhibition is generously supported by