Wrapped in Culture
January 2020 - April 2020
By artists: Barry Ace (Anishinaabe [Odawa]) – Rosalie Favell (Métis) – Meryl McMaster (Cree) – Adrian Stimson (Siksika [Blackfoot]) – Kerri Clarke (Boon Wurrung) – Maree Clarke (Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta, Boon Wurrung) – Mitch Mahoney (Boon Wurrung, Barkindji) – Molly Mahoney (Boon Wurrung, Barkindji) – Wade Mahoney (Barkindji)– Vicki West (trawlwoolway)
Wrapped in Culture is a collaborative project that brings together ten Indigenous artists from Australia and Canada, led by Métis artist Rosalie Favell. They created contemporary versions of an Australian Aboriginal possum-skin cloak and a Blackfoot buffalo robe: two culturally distinct, yet similar, artistic traditions that historically held both sacred and practical purpose. The robe and cloak are also objects that hold a deeper meaning: the imagery on the contemporary robe and cloak is a narrative of ten artists from different generations and nations coming together. A series of photographs of the robe and cloak serve to bring them to life, demonstrating that these artworks are transformed when they cease to be static objects. Traditionally, the iconography on buffalo robes and possum-skin cloaks told a story about the owner or wearer’s life. By wearing their creations, the artists are not only claiming ownership of the objects themselves, but of the stories, which are captured in the imagery. The cloak and robe are representative of the unity of the ten artists and the communities which surround them; it symbolizes the bonds and friendships which have flourished in their making, and the journeys made by the artists.
This project was made possible through the Canada Council for the Arts New Chapter and partnerships with the City of Ottawa and Carleton University Art Gallery.
The exhibition is organized by Rosalie Favell, curated by Wahsontiio Cross, and circulated by the Ottawa Art Gallery.