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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

Pointe-Claire's Stewart Hall one of 6 galleries to host special Indigenous Art installation

Image courtesy of Stewart Hall Art Gallery

The Stewart Hall Art Gallery is proud to be one of the eight venues of the 6th edition of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial. Land Back is curated by Michael Patten with the support of guest researcher Alexandra Nordstrom.

The Stewart Hall Art Gallery will be featuring works of artists Carrie Allison, Christi Belcourt, Jeffrey Gibson, Erin Gingrich, Faye HeavyShield, Sky Hopinka, Julia Rose Sutherland, Charlene Vickers, and Olivia Whetung. An important part of Indigenous cultures is the connection to nature and cohabitation with the elements. Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have protected biodiversity in the face of continued human population growth. The arrival of settlers of course disrupted ancestral practices in that regard. The Land Back movement aims to restore governance and stewardship of the land for a sustainable future. Some of the artists presented reappropriate ancestral techniques as an act of perpetuation, homage, or resistance. Carrie Allison uses beadwork to represent medicinal flowers indigenous to northwestern Alberta. Erin Gingrich uses sculpture to represent key elements of her community's diet, such as fishing and cranberry picking, while Christi Belcourt is inspired by floral motifs and Métis beadwork renderings in her work, replacing the roundness of the beads with paint dots made with a needle head.

As a cornerstone of the exhibition, Jeffrey Gibson presents his video I Was Here (2018), a return to the imagined land as literal – a deep rootedness in the land and the nurturing earth. Marking the ground with an anonymous scar, it is through performative gesture that Julia Rose Sutherland has invested the exterior of the gallery; a hole in the landscape as a place of opening.


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