Artist Talk: Endurance…..Patience
February 5 at7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Artists Cuthand and Allison talk about their individual works in the group show “Endurance…..Patience”, which opens February 7 at Urban Shaman.
Endurance…..Patience is programmed in conjunction with the national Beading Symposium – Ziigimine-shin, taking place from February 6-9, 2020 in Winnipeg. Basing Urban Shaman’s group exhibition on the title of Francesca Hebert-Spence’s group exhibition at the Manitoba Craft Council, May the Land Remember You as You Walk Upon Its Surface, four Indigenous artists were chosen as part of Urban Shaman’s group exhibition and each individual explores conceptual politics in relation to the land. In this show, Carrie Allison’s work, Red River Beading (sipiy), is the most illustrative example of an enduring desire to produce a beaded project. In an effort to show her reverence for the land, Allison has precisely rendered the pathways of the Red and Assiniboine rivers as they flow through the cityscape of Winnipeg. In addition to this project, she has also brought a video animation titled, To Honour, which is a visual documentation of the beading process as a meditative homage to plant life.
Ruth Cuthand’s Boil Water Advisory is a smaller installation of a much larger series of glass vessels that show various drinking containers filled with water and within each container is a beaded piece portraying a type of harmful bacteria. Historically upon colonization, beads were used as a bartering currency with Indigenous peoples and through that bartering process, new sicknesses and diseases were introduced. Although the work is aesthetically beautiful it also speaks to the deadly, and unconscionable, fact that there are approximately eighty First Nations communities who are currently under long-term boil water advisories in Canada.
Catherine Blackburn’s artwork, Aboriginal Classics, utilizes the delicate material of tea bags filled with Indigenous plant materials picked from various locations around Canada. These natural ingredients are not normally found in everyday usage and because of urbanization are becoming more challenging to collect. In her other series titled, Our Mother(s) Tongue, she has produced black pillows printed with open mouths and tongues pierced by needles to represent historical accounts of Indigenous children who were physically and painfully reprimanded when they spoke their own language in residential schools. However, there is also the positive side to this work by the use of the needles in the patterning of Cree syllabics, which speaks to the resurgence of Indigenous languages being used more commonly in artworks today. This regeneration is occurring for many reasons, however there exists Indigenous theories of how such languages are built from the land, or more importantly, some communities believe Indigenous languages are what the land actually speaks.
Nadia Myre’s four framed pieces are from an older series that she completed in 2002. This incredible project titled, Indian Act, brought groups of people together to bead fifty-six pages of the Canadian Government’s Indian Act document, a document that was first passed in 1876 and is still a law that is still in use today to govern all aspects of Indigenous peoples lives across Canada. All of the 56 pages are in various stages of completion and are found in many public and private collections, we thank private collector, John Cook for loaning us his four pieces for this exhibition.
About the Speakers
Carrie Allison is an Indigenous mixed-ancestor multidisciplinary visual artist born and raised on unceded and unsurrendered Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC), with maternal roots in High Prairie, Alberta. Situated in K’jipuktuk since 2010, Allison’s practice responds to her maternal Nêhiýaw/Cree and Métis ancestry. Allison often looks to the natural world; fascinated by Mother Earth’s living beings they become the subjects of deep contemplation and interaction. In early 2019 Allison completed the Center For Art Tapes Media Scholarship and was also one of four mentees in the Visual Arts Nova Scotia Mentorship Program, where she worked with Ursula Johnson. She has completed residencies at The Natural History Museum supported by Eyelevel ARC, NSCAD’s Studio Residency in Lunenburg and Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery. In the summer of 2019 Allison had three solo exhibitions at The Owens Art Gallery in Sackville, NB, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery in Halifax, NS, and The New Gallery in Calgary, AB. In the last few months Allison also participated in Plug-In’s Summer Institute 2019, Indigenous Architectures, Glam Collective’s Memory Keeper II, Eastern Edge’s Land-Based Residency and the Banff Centre’s Craft as Contemporary Art. Allison holds a Master in Fine Art, a Bachelor in Fine Art and a Bachelor in Art History from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD). Allison has performed and exhibited throughout the Maritimes and has received grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Arts Nova Scotia, and Canada Council for the Arts. Allison’s work has been collected by The Owens Art Gallery and Saint Mary’s Art Gallery, as well as private collectors.
Ruth Cuthand was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in 1954, and is of Plains Cree and Scottish ancestry. Her works “talk back” to mainstream media and colonial society, addressing the frictions between cultures, the failures of representation, and the political uses of anger in Canada. Her subjects include “white liberal” attitudes towards Aboriginal women, the Canadian response to the 1990 Oka crisis, Mormon-Native relations in Cardston, Alberta (the artist’s childhood home), and more. As an artist, teacher, and cultural activist, Cuthand has been extremely influential for other artists in Saskatchewan, and contemporary Aboriginal artists across Canada. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with both a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Fine Arts degree.
Urban Shaman Gallery thanks the Winnipeg Foundation for special funding of this project.
Artist Talk FaceBook Event:
FaceBook Event for Beading Symposium: Ziigimineshin Winnipeg 2020:
To Register for the symposium, please visit https://c2centreforcraft.ca/beading-symposium-regular-registration/
Image above: (left) Ruth Cuthand (image courtesy of artist). (right) Carrie Allison (photo credit Alexa Cude)