A re-visitation of a previous project from 2010, where Bennett was in residence at Plug-In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg and he received Mi’kmaq language lessons via instant messaging from Johnson. This new work will be presented in the digital format of an audioscape and a daily drawing of text sent by the artists to Eastern Edge Gallery, the growth of this exhibition will echo the organic nature of the relationship between land, language and sustenance. The artists would like to invite the residents of St. John’s, Ktamkuk to witness the growth of the installation while learning the Mi’kmaw language, in exchange for a donation of a non-perishable food item to the exhibition for the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre.
Ursula Johnson is an emerging performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and has participated in over 30 group shows and 5 solo exhibitions. Her performances are often place-based and employ cooperative didactic intervention.
Jordan Bennett is a multi-disciplinary visual artist of Mi’kmaq ancestry from Stephenville Crossing Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland). Jordan holds a BFA from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and a MFA from University of British Columbia Okanagan. He has shown extensively nationally and internationally, in venues such as The Museum of Art and Design, NYC; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM; Campbelltown Art Centre, Campbelltown, AUS, and was one of two artists to represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2015 Venice Biennial at Galleria Ca’Rezzonico, Venice, Italy.
Jordan’s ongoing body of work utilizes various mediums to explore land, language, the act of visiting, familial histories and challenging colonial perceptions of indigenous histories, stereotypes and presence with a particular focus on exploring Mi’kmaq and Beothuk visual culture of Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland).
Lorraine Field’s exhibition Alas is a photographic response to the loss of her husband and companion of some five decades, poet Roger Field. Situating her own body within landscapes that simultaneously depict new growth and decay, Field uses her photographs and Roger’s poetry to explore both the personal and universal experiences of loss and aging.
Lorraine Field, Leveled, Year 1, Photograph, 2012. photo credit: Lorraine Field
Artist’s Talk – Saturday 25 February at 2 pm. Tove Storch will present an illustrated talk about her work. The event will take place in Seton Academic Centre, Room 503, followed by a reception in the Art Gallery.
Tove Storch’s first solo exhibition in North America follows a three-week production residency in the Art Gallery. The young Danish artist has already exhibited at venues in Europe, New Zealand and Brazil. She recently completed a residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York.
Storch’s sculpture emphasizes process, physicality and the unique properties of materials. These characteristics are reminiscent of minimalist and post-minimalist practices of the 1970s. Her new work engages with the gallery’s two-storey architecture, deploying a forest of narrow metal rods to span the distance between floor and ceiling with an effect similar to that of a drawing.
Tove Storch, untitled, preliminary sketch
Tove Storch, untitled, preliminary sketch
The Walking With Our Sisters – K’jipuktuk / Halifax planning committee would like the community to join us for the Pjila’si / Welcoming for Walking With Our Sisters on January 14 at 2pm, located in Mount Saint Vincent University’s McCain Centre Atrium (166 Bedford Highway). This will be followed by a feast and everyone is welcome to visit the Walking With Our Sisters commemoration in the MSVU Art Gallery afterwards. There will be volunteers on site to help direct visitors to these locations. All are welcome.
Walking With Our Sisters is a commemoration honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people through ceremony, community and reflection. It presents more than 1800 pairs of moccasin tops (vamps) made by contributing artists. The moccasins are unfinished, symbolizing over 1180 sisters, mothers, aunties, daughters, cousins, grandmothers, wives and partners whose lives were tragically cut short over the last thirty years. This project has been entirely crowd-sourced and supported by thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women and men across Turtle Island who care deeply about this issue. All of our efforts in bringing this exhibit to life have been on a strictly voluntary basis.
Walking With Our Sisters is rooted in the four principles of love, humility, protocol and volunteerism, and is guided by local Elders and community members. As Walking With Our Sisters is experienced in ceremony, footwear is to be removed before entering the space. Women are encouraged to wear skirts if they feel comfortable doing so. Smudging (the burning of sage) will take place inside the MSVU Art Gallery, cleansing the space for the Sisters. There will be no photography permitted at any time. Public figures and dignitaries are welcome to attend but there will be no public speakers.
Jennie Williams was born and raised in Labrador in the most southern Inuit region in the circumpolar Arctic. She photographs people in their everyday environments and circumstances, working to document practices and traditions in the manner that they are celebrated today in Labrador. Recent bodies of work reveal her deep interest and love for Inuit cultural traditions, especially the photographic series Nalujuk Night, shot in Nain where she lives. At a summer residency at The Rooms, Williams will develop a new portrait series of urban Inuit living in St. John’s.
The exhibition is part of the Elbow Room Residency Series
Jennie Williams, Nalujuk, photograph,2015. Courtesy of the artist
A young boy improvises martial arts gestures against the stark backdrop of an empty modern building and barren landscape. This new short film from internationally-celebrated media artist Myriam Yates, was made following her time on Fogo Island, NL. “Lyle” is the child’s name – pronounced, in French, like “l’isle” – the word for “island”. For the artist, the contrast between the control and discipline of the child’s combat movements against the stillness of the landscape evoke the struggle of the creative process.
Myriam Yates’ work combines photography, video installation and 16mm film. She is particularly interested in recreational or gathering areas, especially those which are obsolete or in the process of disappearing, where new ties are being forged between individuals, modernity and architecture.
Myriam Yates, Island, Lyle, (still) HD video, sound, 2016
Exuvia is an exhibition of funerary jars, sometimes referred to as reliquaries or urns. At the end of its time developing undergound, the cicada digs to the surface to move from one life stage to the next. In this process of change the cicada leaves behind a shell, called the exuvia, and it flies away. At some level the finished jar is a likeness of who it is that will transition, important not for what it holds but for what has stepped out and flown away leaving an essential hint of what lives on.
Rachel Morouney, crenellated fan pattern, carved and glazed ceramic, 2014. photo credit: images courtesy of the artist
Artist presentation: Tues 7 March, 12 Noon
Soligo’s exhibition pertains to their ongoing interest in textile structure and form. In Trade Piece II, knit and woven textiles are crafted into “anti-garments” for the purpose of studying the body’s relationship with clothing.
A permanent exhibition space devoted to the work of Alex Colville (1920-2013), one of Canada’s most celebrated artists and one of Mount Allison University’s best known graduates. The Gallery features the installation of the mural Athletes, commissioned by Mount Allison for its new Athletic Centre in 1961. Designed around the theme of the student athlete, the mural was the focal point of the new building; it remained there for over 50 years, until its present installation in the stable and secure environment of Owens Art Gallery. Other artworks by Colville are also on view, including many of the preparatory drawings for Athletes and examples of the artist’s serigraphs.
Alex Colville, Athletes, oil and synthetic resin on board, 1961.
In 1977, a flamingo landed on the coast of Newfoundland and was immediately shot. Now preserved in the collection of The Rooms, the strange story of how this tropical bird came to be in its final resting place far from home is the starting point for this contemporary art exhibition that explores the inherent absurdity and poignancy of collecting behaviour. What motivates us to collect? How do we choose what to include and exclude from our collections and exhibitions? Artworks by local, national, and international artists are bought together with a selection of works from The Rooms Permanent Collections that have never before been exhibited. Throughout, works that incorporate song and voice elude to absence and elegy, but also to the limitless power of sound to exclaim presence, even when there is no “room” for physical inclusion. The end result is a sumptuous, poetic experience for the eyes, and ears.
David R. Harper, Learning to Love You (detail), Wood, steel, cast polymer with virgin paper pulp, photo paper, enamel, paint.2015. photo credit: Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid
Sara Cwynar, Soft Film, 16mm film transferred to digital video, 2016
Original carvings created by Canadian soldiers in 1917 in a cave 10 metres below Vimy Ridge are reproduced as 3D prints. Part of the UNB Art Centre’s 75th anniversary programming throughout 2016.
The Canadigm Group, Oscar Green, 3D recreation of cave etching, 1917/2016. Photo credit: The Canadigm Group
Digital video, 11:55, looped
Alternately one or two images projected side by side, this video installation shows a woman transporting a cumbersome scaffolding through various spacious landscapes and an autumnal forest. Entering the field of one projection and going out of the other, this woman makes a Sisyphean movement, repeating from a place to another in a continuous mobility.
Ephemeral structures composing our urban landscape, the scaffolding characterize the spectacle of the everyday life and is a common figure of our collective imaginary. By pulling this structure with the strength of her arms, this woman, whom no detail distinguishes, mediates the relationship that every individual maintains with a coercive environment. Her solitude, in the context of this uncultivated space from the field and the forest, sends back to the difficulty collectively felt by all to project in the future, by definition indefinite.
Jessica Arseneau, born in 1988 in Bathurst, New Brunswick, is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in Leipzig, Germany. She received her B.A. from the Université de Moncton (2011) and was a member of the cooperative artist studio Atelier King Kong from 2013 to 2015 (Montreal). Public presentations of her work occurred at art spaces such as Darling Foundry in Montreal, BronxArtSpace in New York, Galerie Sans Nom in Moncton, and Janaklees for Visual Arts in Alexandria. Recently, her work has been shown at Traverse Vidéo in Toulouse, HGB Gallery and Gallery Bipolar both in Leipzig.
Her work embodies reflections on various aspects of mobility, precariousness and the collective imaginary. Within performance, installation and digital media, her work takes the form of poetic gesture.