sounds of cold and wind 

rabbit // pause

January 3 – 30, 2024

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 13, 1 – 3 pm

Clark Centre for the Arts, Toronto

Samantha Sannella and Paola Poletto tease out what it means to self-identify with a rabbit: how an interspecies relationship becomes a mirror for friendship, the self, and for living sustainably. This exhibition Rabbit // Pause is open daily 9 am – 4 pm, January 3–30, 2024 at the Clark Centre for the Arts, Toronto.

Why rabbits? Sam has always identified with them. As a child, Sam had two white rabbits: Curious and Cautious. They fascinated her – their innocence and purity – but also their survival instincts. One day they disappeared and rather than being heartbroken, she imagined they left for a more adventurous life or a more peaceful existence – free from chaos. Sam has often envied them and imagined what it would be like to have that type of freedom. This exhibition is the culmination of a year’s worth of painting self-portraits as rabbits. The creative work contains symbology through colour and artistic elements that are representative of her experiences and emotional responses.

Paola’s project response is a photographic triptych and an accompanying bookwork inspired by Sam’s portraits and the site of the Clark Centre for the Arts. Set upon an idyllic community park filled with classical ruins from a local mason, forest animals and creatures, and a winding path through the trees to Lake Ontario, she imagined other rabbits besides our own busy amongst the grasses, and people strolling along the paths and banks of Lake Ontario mindful of one another, enjoying one another. She also wondered, “What would it feel like to take a photo if I were a rabbit?” How could I capture the stillness that Sam’s portraits exude, but also make a literal leap? Paola is interested in the way a rabbit’s perspective might help her see the world differently, how it might feel to stay in place, and then zig zag through time and space differently, and to find oneself in an honest way.

Please join the artists for an opening reception on Saturday, January 13, 1–3 pm, Clark Centre for the Arts at 191 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough. This Centre is fully accessible.

Samantha Sannella is a painter and poet, architect and designer. She works in both watercolour and acrylic. She is focused on creating art that conveys insight into her life, surroundings, and state of mind. Rather than typical self-portraits, Samantha expresses herself as a rabbit. The rabbit represents her fragile nature and power as a survivor. This exhibition, Rabbit / / Pause contains 32 rabbits in acrylic on canvas and wood and 1 rabbit created from textiles. Each work is accompanied by a poem. Learn more at

Paola Poletto’s studio interests include photography, drawing, writing and creative collaboration. She has exhibited projects both locally and internationally and published and/or edited several books combining images and words. Paola is currently pursuing practice-based doctoral research, working through the glitch panorama as a mapping site for embodied, multi-voiced experience. This is a methodology from which she can combine photography and words toward photopoetic response. See her projects at 

glitch45, Sept 19, 2021

text, Jan 20, 2024