Curator: Jaime Koebel
Artists: Barry Ace, Christi Belcourt, Simon Brascoupé, David White Deer Charette, Kelly Duquette, Myrosia Humeniuk, Nathalie Mantha, Florence Yee
June 22 to July 30, 2017
Vernissage: Thursday, June 22, 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Artist talk with Kelly Duquette and Florence Yee: Friday, June 23, 12 to 12:45 pm
Presented in English at Karsh-Masson Gallery.
All welcome. Free admission.
Panel discussion with Barry Ace and Nathalie Mantha: Sunday, July 9, 2 to 3 pm
Presented in English with bilingual Q&A at Karsh-Masson Gallery.
All welcome. Free admission.
Pysanky making workshop with Myrosia Humeniuk: Saturday, July 15, 1 to 4 pm
Bilingual presentation. Location TBD.Space is limited. Fee: $40 per person.
Registration required: email@example.com
Indigenous Walk tour & birch bark biting demonstration with Jaime Koebel and Simon Brascoupé: Wednesday, July 19, 6 to 7 pm
Presented in English. Registration required: firstname.lastname@example.org
All welcome. Free admission.
Wâpikwanew means blossom in Nehiyawewin (the Cree language), and blossoms are a form of natural beauty that emerges in the wake of a winter’s sleep. From floral beadwork to ink on eggs, from paint on canvas to birch bark bitings, floral images are a source of symbolism that support self-identification, cultural identity, memory, traditional knowledge and meditation.
Through this exhibition, I hope to express two main ideas. First and foremost, I want to highlight how floral art serves as a source of inspiration and connection in so many cultures, something that I personally witnessed in my youth. Secondly, I want to share how flowers provided a kind of balance that took my mind away from the less beautiful things around me. […]
This exhibition is meant to be enjoyed and I hope it brings you happiness and encourages you to think about how flowers are represented in your own life.
- Excerpt from the essay by Jaime Koebel
Jaime Koebel is of Nehiyâw, Michif and German ancestry. She is especially inspired by floral and natural imagery in Michif art. Koebel’s art practice encompasses beadwork, fish scale art, birch bark biting and ink drawing. She manages Prairie Fire, a dance group in which performs with her three children. Koebel runs Indigenous Walks Tours in Ottawa, and she is the Educator of Indigenous Programs and Outreach at the National Gallery of Canada.
Barry Ace, Phat(ense), 2005, acrylic on wood, 81 x 81 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Barry Ace is a practising visual artist and a band member of M’Chigeeng First Nation from Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Drawing inspiration from multiple facets of traditional Anishinaabe culture, he creates objects and imagery that reference many traditional forms and motifs. He then disrupts the reading of these works with the introduction of other elements, endeavouring to create a convergence of the historical and the contemporary. Ace’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections in Canada and abroad.
Christi Belcourt, Family, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 91 x 152 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Vicky Laforge.
Christi Belcourt is a visual artist with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people. Like generations of Indigenous artists before her, most of her work explores and celebrates the beauty and symbolism of the natural world, while exploring traditional Indigenous world-views and their relationship to spirituality and natural medicines. Following the tradition of Métis floral beadwork, Belcourt treats her art as a metaphor for human existence, using it to relay a variety of messages related to environmental protection, biodiversity, spirituality and Indigenous rights.
Simon Brascoupé, Algonquin Flowers, 2017, birch bark, 15 x 17 cm (approximate). Courtesy of the artist.
An Algonquin member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation in Quebec, Simon Brascoupé is a contemporary artist with traditional roots. An academic researcher who provides training on cultural competency and safety, Brascoupé shares his creativity and knowledge of Algonquin traditions through stunning visual representations of cultural symbols.
David White Deer Charette, Bandolier Bag, 2017, seed beads, nylon thread and vinyl, 123 x 34 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Vicky Laforge.
From Wikwemikong, on Ontario’s Manitoulin Island, David White Deer Charette has been practising traditional and contemporary beadwork since he was 12 years old. He has made his home in Ottawa, where he continues to make fascinating art. Charette is an Ojibwa artist who has earned recognition both at home and abroad, including in Thailand and China. He is a well-known First Nations dancer, singer, and visual artist.
Kelly Duquette, I Forgot Who I Was, But Now I Remember series (1 of 3), 2016, acrylic, pigment, pouring medium, beads and thread on linen, 76 x 91 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Kelly Duquette considers herself to be a “new generation” Métis. Following the resistance in Western Canada, her family fled the Prairies and settled in Northwestern Ontario. For four generations, the family’s identity was kept secret. With silence came the assurance of survival in Canadian society, but the transfer of traditional knowledge was interrupted. At the age of 12, Duquette became aware of her Métis heritage. This sparked a desire to learn about her role as a Métis woman within the larger community.
Myrosia Humeniuk, Spring Wonder, 2017, dye on ostrich egg, 17 x 13 x 13 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Pierre Laporte Photography.
Myrosia Humeniuk left her studies in environmental engineering to enroll in the animation program at Algonquin College. She now works as a visual artist, and her art depicts her love of life, heritage and tradition. Humeniuk’s work ranges from youthful themes and colourful characters to meticulously hand-drawn designs on eggs.
Nathalie Mantha, Avant que le matin s’éteigne, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 102 x 152 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo : Valérie Mercier.
Nathalie Mantha holds bachelor’s degrees in fine arts and education from the University of Ottawa. Prior to attending university, she explored a range of mediums while completing a college diploma in visual arts. For the last 25 years, Mantha worked as an art educator, combining her twin loves of creating and teaching.
Florence Yee, Second Generation (triptych, image 2 of 3), 2016, oil on canvas, 91 x 91 cm (each panel). Courtesy of the artist.
Florence Yee is a bilingual Montreal-based visual artist, currently finishing her BFA at Concordia University. Since completing a four-month residency at the Ottawa School of Art, she has exhibited her work across Canada. With an interest in ethnocultural art histories, she works within communities to dismantle Eurocentric ideas of art. Yee draws from her lived experience as a 2.5 generation Asian-Canadian woman to fuel her socially conscious practice.
Presented in collaboration with the NAC’s Canada Scene.