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Indigenous art exhibition opens at the Power Plant gallery this October

Arctic/Amazon Power Plant gallery

Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity tackles contemporary indigenous art practices spanning continents

By Catherine MacIntosh

Arctic/Amazon Power Plant gallery indigenous art
Máret Ánne Sara and Cecilia Vicuña, Gákte-Quipo, 2017–21. Textiles, metal. Installation view: Environmental injustice – Indigenous alternatives, Musée d’ethnographie de Genève. Courtesy the artist and Musée d’ethnographie de Genève. Máret Ánne Sara Collection. Photo: Johnathan Watts.

The Power Plant’s latest exhibition, Arctic/Amazon, which opens on the day following the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, features the works of 12 artists from three continents. Curated by Governor General Award-winning Indigenous educator Dr. Gerald McMaster with co-curators Dr. Nina Vincent and Noor Alé — the arresting show seeks to illuminate geopolitical and environmental issues that affect artists and artistic practices in these disparate regions.

Arctic/Amazon Power Plant gallery indigenous art
Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Kamie ya uriji pi jami Parawa ujame theperekui uriji ter- imi thepe komi kua [Where I live in my jungle and in the Orinoco river all these animals also live], 2018. Acrylic on 79 sheets of cane fibre paper, 35 x 51 cm each. Courtesy Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

“At a time when Canada is striving toward reconciliation, this exhibition platforms contemporary Indigenous culture across borders and continents. We are grateful for the dedication and expertise Gerald McMaster and Nina Vincent bring to this project and are confident that the accompanying publication will contribute invaluable insights to the study of contemporary Indigenous art,” says artistic director Gaëtane Verna.

Arctic/Amazon Power Plant gallery indigenous art
Couzyn van Heuvelen, Nitsiik 13, 2019. Ceramic, rope, 137 x 46 cm. Courtesy the artist and Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver.

The first night also coincides with Nuit Blanche in Toronto. Following the opening weekend, the Arctic/Amazon exhibition will run alongside related talks, children’s workshops and artist-led tours.

Notable highlights include Peruvian artist Olinda Reshijabe Silvano’s collaboration with students from OCAD University on a large-scale commission for The Power Plant and a mural at Toronto Metropolitan University; and if you are just passing by, you will see large-scale photographic work by Uýra (Indigenous in diaspora) on the exterior of gallery.

Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Shedding Skin, 2022. Pins, threads.
Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Shedding Skin, 2022. Pins, threads. Courtesy the artist.

Arctic/Amazon runs until December 31. Thepowerplant.org

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