Tanea Hynes: WORKHORSE

Display Date: 
January 23 - September 26, 2021
Level 3 Harbour Gallery

This exhibition tells an intimate story about the place of the individual within a relentless and unforgiving extraction industry. Growing up in Labrador City, Hynes’ family worked at IOC (the Iron Ore Company of Canada). Her closeness to extractive mining has given her a unique, incisive perspective of the industry and the community that developed around it.

Writer Dana Prieto notes iron ore mining is an activity that historically founded, geographically surrounded and financially sustained Hynes’ hometown. Prieto situates Labrador City as a place of proximities and relations: “the rock, the paint and the smog; the vernacular and spectacular; the secretive and conspicuous; the airy, smooth and heavy; the transient, broken and eternal; the mythical and lived experience.”

After so many stories told, local myths withhold secrets and the ghosts of physical and environmental health haunt the exhibition, like the cloud hovering overhead.

Further Reading

To read Prieto's essay On tending the fog, the stone, the chisel and the marrow click on the image below. 

To read more about Tanea’s approach toward the exhibition and what initially inspired this work, click on the image below to check out the In Practice interview with the artist from June 2020. 



About the Artist:

Tanea Hynes is an interdisciplinary artist hailing from Labrador City, NL. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Art at NSCAD University in 2019, where she studied photography and art history. She is a current Master of Fine Art candidate at Concordia University. Hynes has shown work across Canada and in the USA. Tanea spent the fall of 2019 working at Eastern Edge Gallery as an artist in residence, and quickly learned that St. John’s would be the ideal place to bring her current project to fruition. Tanea is thrilled to have spent an extended residency at The Rooms in 2020, and to have found so much warmth and support within the St. John's community during an intense and transformative time period. 

About the Author:

Dana Prieto is an Argentine artist and educator based in Toronto. Dana’s site-responsive art practice manifests in sculpture, installation, performance, writing and collaborations. Her work examines our intimate and collective entanglements with colonial institutions and power structures, calling for a careful attention to our ways of relating, thinking, making and consuming in the Anthropocene. Dana holds a Master of Visual Studies from University of Toronto, a BFA from OCAD University and is a York University Research Associate for the Finding Flowers Project. Her work has been presented in national and international galleries, public spaces and informal cultural venues.

Elbow Room 

This exhibition is part of The Elbow Room Residency Series, which provides studio space and support for emerging artists in the province. As the 2020 Artist-in-Residence, Tanea Hynes had her residency started, temporarily paused, modified and then extended in order to conform to changing provincial health guidelines. Despite a year of uncertainty, inconsistency and compromise, Hynes persisted. Throughout it all, she produced a powerful exhibition; a poetic autobiography of life in Labrador City.


Image:  Installation view, WORKHORSE. Photo by m + e photography.