New exhibition explores the relationship between African identity and Canadian history

Last updated: January 23, 2023

Burnaby, BC – Ornament and Instrument is a survey of the intricate, meticulous and visually compelling work of Vancouver-based artist Karin Jones, opening at the Burnaby Art Gallery on February 3, 2023.

Jones’ work, Worn, on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum, is a Victorian mourning dress crafted from synthetic hair which evokes the complexity of African identity shaped by colonial displacement, slavery and oppression. Rooting this work to the local, a new iteration of the work, Freed, utilizes an early 20th Century dress from the collection of the Burnaby Village Museum. Jones’ history as a goldsmith is highlighted through Damascene inlay work on objects such as farm tools, with new works presented in mixed media exploring European beauty ideals, furthering her exploration of notions of beauty and race through fine craft.

Karin Jones is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in jewellery. She received a Diploma in Jewellery Art and Design from Vancouver Community College in 1993, before embarking on a more than 20-year career as a goldsmith and independent artisan. Since 2007, her work has moved away from traditional jewellery and into contemporary art. She completed an MFA in Jewellery at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, followed by international apprenticeships in jewellery and blacksmithing techniques. Since 2013, she has been the department head of Jewellery Art & Design at Vancouver Community College. Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Royal Ontario Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Metal Museum (Memphis, Tennessee).

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 2, 7-9 pm

Learn More: Karin Jones: Ornament & Instrument
Images: High resolution promotional images


Find public programs related to the exhibition online at


Since 1967, the Burnaby Art Gallery has been dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting a contemporary and historical visual art program by local, national, and internationally recognized artists.  As the only public art museum in Canada dedicated to works of art on paper, the Burnaby Art Gallery endeavours to represent a variety of techniques and practices from artists of diverse backgrounds. The Burnaby Art Gallery cares for and manages more than 6300 works of art in the City of Burnaby’s Permanent Art Collection, as well as the City of Burnaby Public Art Collection.

For more information contact:
Chris Bryan
Manger, Public Affairs
Public Affairs Office
604-570-3616 | [email protected]

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