RECLAIMING SPACE

Authored by: WAG Staff on September 5, 2017

Kenneth Lavallee. Creation Story, 2017. Collection of the artist.

INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE is the WAG’s largest-ever exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art, extending from the main galleries to ceilings, stairs, and even outside! Using traditional techniques like beading and tattooing, along with multi-media, performance, and more, 29 artists consider political insurgency and cultural resurgence to radically shift our understanding of Canada, now and in the future.

Over the run of this provocative show, we’re exploring a new theme every month through an eclectic mix of events with the artists, curators, and surprise guests. We hope you will join us! In September we’re focusing on the built environment as artists transform space with site-specific work that responds to the architecture.

When creating his 35 x 40-foot artwork that was recently installed on the exterior of the Gallery, local artist Kenneth Lavallee considered the Tyndall stone of the walls–embedded with thousands of prehistoric aquatic fossils–and balanced them with an arresting water motif. He explains that, “at the time, I was reading a book which was a compendium of Indigenous mythologies compared to Classical Greek and Biblical tales, and basically everyone has a 'great flood' story, which I'm super intrigued by."

Joi T. Arcand’s series is another example. The Ottawa-based artist explores the revitalization of Cree, and the many conversations that arise from her attempt to learn the language. Her text and neon work will be exhibited throughout the WAG, running up the monumental staircase into the galleries and beyond.

Joi T. Arcand. Cahkipēhikana, 2017. Collection of the artist.

Watch for upcoming programming looking at topics such as gender identity, technology, and language. Plan to attend the public opening for INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE on Sept 22, 7pm, and the Family Gathering on Sept 23 starting at 1pm. Thanks to generous sponsors, these celebrations are free! For more info, click here.

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