Arctic / Amazon Exhibition Curated by Gerald McMaster and Nina Vincent Launches at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.
Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Knowledge is excited to announce the official opening of the Arctic / Amazon Exhibition Co-Curated by Gerald McMaster and Nina Vincent, and supported by the Institutional Curated Noor Ale, at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.
Exhibition at a Glance
Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity exhibition explores the ways in which Indigenous contemporary artists take on issues of climate change, globalized Indigeneity, and contact zones in and about the Arctic and the Amazon during a time of crisis. The works featured in this exhibition embody a politics of resistance, resurgence, and ways of knowing and being in relation to the lands that are the source of their knowledge and creativity.
A constellation of new and past works by artists Sonya Kelliher-Combs (United States), Tanya Lukin Linklater (United States/Canada), Couzyn van Heuvelen (Canada), Máret Ánne Sara (Norway), Uýra (Indigenous in diaspora), Olinda Reshijabe Silvano (Peru), Morzaniel Iramari (Brazil), Leandro Lima & Gisela Motta (Brazil), Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe (Venezuela), and Outi Pieski (Finland) are be featured in Arctic/Amazon. Encompassing a range of media, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, installation, video, and performance, this exhibition sheds light on current geopolitical and environmental sustainability issues that inform artistic practices in these two regions.
The main themes in this group exhibition are drawn from the Arctic/Amazon symposium that was co-hosted by OCAD University and The Power Plant in September 2019. The purpose of the symposium was to gather established and emerging Indigenous scholars, curators, and artists primarily from North American regions of the Arctic and Amazonian zones to meet, exchange ideas, share works, and develop collaborative strategies that would bring together traditional knowledges of Indigenous communities.
Exhibition was on view from October 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.
Lead Curator | Gerald McMaster
Gerald McMaster, O.C., is one of Canada’s most revered and esteemed academics. He is a curator, artist and author, and is currently professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University, where he leads a team of researchers at the Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge. McMaster served as the curator for the 1995 Venice Biennale, artistic director of the 2012 Biennale of Sydney and curator for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is the recipient of the OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity (2021) appointed Senior Fellow to Massey College, University of Toronto (2021), and awarded Governor General’s Awards Award for Outstanding Contribution (2022). He is nehiyaw (Plains Cree) and a citizen of the Siksika First Nation.
Co-Curator | Nina Vincent
Nina Vincent is a Brazilian anthropologist, researcher, professor, independent curator and currently works at the National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN), where she works close to communities to preserve intangible heritage and Brazilian popular/traditional culture. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), and a Master’s in Anthropology and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from UFRJ. Her research focuses on Indigenous visual material culture, museology and curatorial practice. In 2015, Garamond Publishing published her book Paris, Maori: the museum and its others—native curatorship at the Quai Branly. Vincent is co-researching the Arctic / Amazon Project with Dr. Gerald McMaster, exploring intersections of historical and contemporary art production and cultural perceptions of climate change in the two regions.
Institutional Curator | Noor Alé
Noor Alé is a curator, writer, and art historian. In her most recent capacity, she was the Assistant Curator at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington. Her curatorial practice examines the intersections of contemporary art with geopolitics, decolonization, and social justice in the Global South. She has contributed to curatorial research, exhibition management, and public programmes at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; and Art Dubai. Alé holds an MA in Art History from The Courtauld Institute of Art, and a BA in Art History from the University of Guelph.
Couzyn van Heuvelen is an Inuk sculptor and installation artist originally from Iqaluit, NU. Based in southern Ontario, van Heuvelen’s artistic practice focuses on fusing Inuit art history and traditions with contemporary materials and technologies. Van Heuvelen’s use of unconventional materials and fabrication processes, combined with elements of Inuit culture, mirrors his own process of exploring how traditional practices continue to influence his everyday life.
Máret Ánne Sara (b.1983) is an artist and author. She is from a reindeer herding family in Kautokeino and currently works in her hometown. Máret Ánne is the initiator of Dáiddadállu Artist Collective. She has published two novels and was nominated for the Nordic Council’s Children’s and Young Literature Prize in 2014 for her debut book “Ilmmid gaskkas” (published in Norwegian in 2014 and in English in 2016).
Olinda Reshinjabe Silvano is an Indigenous Shipibo-Konibo artist from Peru, utilizing traditional art of kené in her creative practice. Her art targets an urban audience but brings into the city the power given her by the plants that she herself received as a child.
Outi Pieski is a Sámi visual artist, born in 1973 in Helsinki, Finland. Pieski’s paintings, collages and installations employ traditional handicrafts such as the tassels of Sámi shawls to depict the light and landscapes of the far north. Working primarily with installation and painting, artist and activist Outi Pieski has gained recognition for her artwork examining the history and identity of the Sami people.
Pia Arke was a Danish Greenlandic visual and performance artist, writer and photographer. She is remembered for her self-portraits, landscape photographs of Greenland and for her paintings and writings which strive to present the complex ethnic and cultural relationships between Denmark and Greenland.
Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe is an Indigenous Yanomami artist from Sheroana, a small community of the Upper Orinoco River in the Venezuelan Amazon. Working primarily with drawing and handmade papers crafted from native fibers, he draws from his ancestral knowledge of the signs and symbols of Yanomami culture, and their application in basketry and body painting for ritual ceremonies.
Sonya Kelliher-Combs is an Iñupiaq and Athabascan multidisciplinary artist based out of Anchorage, Alaska. Kelliher-Combs born in 1969 in Bethel, Alaska and was raised in the Northwest Alaska community of Nome. Through her mixed media painting and sculpture, Kelliher-Combs offers a chronicle of the ongoing struggle for self-definition and identity in the Alaskan context.
Tanya Lukin Linklater is an Indigenous artist-choreographer of Alutiiq descent, born in 1976 in Kodiak Island, Alaska. Linklater’s performances, works for camera, installations, and writings centre Indigenous peoples’ lived experiences, (home)lands, and structures of sustenance. Her performances in relation to objects in exhibition, scores, and ancestral belongings generate what she has come to call felt structures. She investigates insistence in both concept and application.
Uýra Sodoma is an Indigenous Brazilian visual artist born in 1991. A graduate of Biology and Ecology, they are also part of art education in riverside communities. They reside in Manaus, an industrial territory in the middle of the Central Amazon, where they transform themself into Uýra, a manifestation in animal and plant flesh that moves to expose and cure colonial systemic diseases.