October 5 - 24 Wayfinders - a travelling art exhibit from the Art Gallery of Alberta.
World renowned artist George Littlechild has spent a career exploring the secrets and inconsistencies of our history, specifically in regards to identity, family and the ongoing affects of the Residential School legacy. Many people have found healing in his work; many have been shocked and humbled; but everyone who sees it finds some kind of truth.
Paul Smith’s purposefully naive landscapes, trickster characters and symbols can be difficult to decipher. They are as opaque as an unknown language without the tools to translate them. Consciously or not, they are imbued with indigenous symbology and weight, leaving it to the viewer to make an effort and to finish the connection for communication. As an analogue to cultural first contact and the resulting history, Smith’s works offer profound insights into the way in which we approach one another and the commonalities that bind us but can remain unseen.
Amy Malbeuf is an emerging performance and sculptural artist whose works push the boundaries of modernism while strengthening her ties with her indigenous roots. Using traditional knowledge to inform her work, she shows us that there is space, and indeed a bright future, for the voice of First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists in our changing times.
The exhibition Wayfinders is a combination of these three unique talents. From a world master, to a mid career painter and an emerging artist exploring new directions, viewers are treated to a unique and compelling exhibition that hopefully will stay with them for years to come.
Artists create in isolation, drawing upon personal reflections and experiences. It is a very individual journey. In a way, we all stumble through shadow. It is the seekers, the curious, the ones who are looking for a way who strike the match and light the torch. The journey is personal but when the light is held high it can inspire us to do the same. Our Wayfinders are just like us, leading the way by simply trying to find one.
Too Ethnic Looking to Model, 2001 Mixed media on canvas Collection of the artist