this is how we can visit
In collaboration with First Light, Eastern Edge is pleased to present this is how we can visit, an exhibition by Megan Samms and Kristin Pope, as a part of Spirit Song Festival 2023!
Spirit Song is a celebration of Indigenous Arts and Culture that has been running annually in St. John’s since 2013. Spirit Song has now grown into a multi-day event which boasts world class performances, traditional and contemporary knowledge sharing events as well as artist in residence series. The festival is enjoyed by Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences alike. Spirit Song aims to support and promote Indigenous artists, strengthen our sense of community, as well as provide an opportunity for the greater public to experience the incredible work created by Indigenous artists from across Canada.
Megan Samms’ exhibition will be up from October 27th – December 9th in our Main Gallery, and we will have a delayed opening reception on November 22nd from 6-8pm.
Megan’s artist statement reads:
“At the Icelandic Textile Centre, I wove an accompanying textile to my great-great grandmothers hand woven curtain panel. I found her textile in her now abandoned home along with a hand built loom. A curtain is usually one to a pair, but I couldn’t find the other in the home, now running down into the earth. Her handwoven cloth has rust stains, unidentifiable other marks, holes and tears. Not one threading error, and only a change in beat once. This cloth is folded and hemmed to hang and cover a window, to keep the light. I consider my weaving here a collaboration with Mary Jane Hall, and I speak her name while I make.
There exists in my family, and others I know, an unfortunate reality of disconnection, of unacceptability. While I wove, I thought about intergenerational knowledge, care, transmission, and unconditional love; I always do. Weaving brings these to the day-to-day, I have a deep respect for these. I notice the sharing and transfer of story — it’s always present, at all times by word, place-names, by stitch, and by pick. Story carried from person to person directly in place is an act of love for those future ancestors and relations unknown — this action reaches through or around time to say “I love you”. I think about weaving like a time-stamp and a place-map. By making a response based partner curtain to her woven work, I’m working and weaving to make our circle complete again. To make care and unconditional love material.
Collaborating intergenerationally in this work helps bring an (un)world into view, to make something that seems out of reach tangible and to create a real touch reminder of how to get there. Making with my hands shows me how to make potentialities real; process shows me how to share and be it in a revived world during troubled time. Weaving us toward us, us toward and for each other, to imagine intergenerational and unconditional love for us as we are, in both our most beautiful and, at times, horrifying ways through the gesture of weaving.”
Megan Samms (she/they) is an L’nu and Nlaka’pamux interdisciplinary artist who works in a range of mediums including textile, natural dyes and inks, paint, words, and photo; Megan is also a regenerative, community based farmer and sustainability, in all ways, informs their making too.
Megan lives in their home community and one of her two traditional territories and is informed by their very specific place in the world and how she fits in and around it. Megan looks at decolonial values, love and care, at multiplicity and contrastingly, at fragmentation. They are interested in the sense of inter-dependance and capability that comes from this way of working and looking. Megan collaborates often, thinks and works intergenerationally, and considers working together with place and people integral to creative process and makings. Megan is driven to practice as an artist to learn more, to unearth specifics about place and identity in a meaningful way, to visit with past and present people. Megan has shared work in exhibitions, residences, videos and interviews, talks, panels, books, and artful publications.
Kristin Pope is a freelance photographer. She creatively and sensitively documents families, places, stories, and tender moments. Kristin shares her work in various fine publications, homes, and exhibitions and lives in her home community with her family on the South West Coast of Newfoundland.