Sandra Brewster

Published On


Page Range

pp. 147-160

Print Length

13 pages

11. A Trace | Evidence of Time Past

  • Sandra Brewster (author)
In ‘A Trace | Evidence of Time Past,’ Canadian-born artist Sandra Brewster elevates the voices of the matriarchs in her family. Brewster’s family history of migration from Guyana beginning in the 1960s—a decade in which the country saw a tremendous exodus to Canada—parallels the emergence of Toronto as a prominent node in the Caribbean diaspora and one of the largest and oldest Guyanese populations outside of Guyana. As a daughter of immigrant parents, Brewster grew up hearing her family’s stories of life in Georgetown—stories that simultaneously gave her a connection to Guyana as well as left her with questions. In her art essay, she generously mines those questions and offers us the stories, memories, and language of her grandmother, mother, sister, aunts, and cousins whose words simultaneously trace a rupture and chart a chronology: What did it take to leave a beloved Guyana and build a life in an uncertain Canada? As Brewster documents that process, what is revealed is that it takes generations, it takes a whole family, it takes the driving force of women to get to a place of not merely surviving and adapting, but thriving.


Sandra Brewster