Written by Rebecca John | Edited by Jeff Samsonow | Photos by MN Hutchinson
The Art Gallery of Alberta offers a monthly chance for you to learn more about an artist’s work over your lunch hour.Art for Lunch features a new artist each month, with a new interpretation from gallery attendants for each exhibition.
In November, gallery attendant Rebecca John explored the site-responsive work of Kainai First Nation artist Faye HeavyShield. Through the use of memory, recollection, gesture and ritual the participants created a community-engaged piece in response to themes addressed by the artist in her exhibition Faye HeavyShield: Calling Stones (Conversations).
Faye HeavyShield at Iniskim Umaapi. photo by artist
Created in response to visiting Iniskim Umaapi (Majorville medicine wheel) located in Southern Alberta —one of the world’s oldest active sacred sites— HeavyShield’s works reference topography, language, culture and inter-generational community. Inspired by HeavyShield’s creative process, the participants were invited to recall places, dreams and people of significance to them and to record these recollections in a tangible way, through the use of index cards, as the artist does. Utilizing body-mapping techniques, participants explored ideas of “home” and “homecoming” as they are rooted in the body.
Using performance traditions from various diasporic communities, participants were guided to create a simple gesture based on their own ancestry. These gestures were incorporated into a shared performance within the gallery space: a compilation of the group’s fragmented recollections to create their own, communal site-responsive piece.
Upcoming Art for Lunch exhibitions include “Wordmark” on Thursday, December 21, which is an examination of language, image and symbolism fromRaymond Boisjoly, Bob Boyer, Dean Drever and Amy Malbeuf. And watch for January’s Art for Lunch details to be released soon.
Art for Lunch is free and runs 12:10-12:50 on the third Thursday of each month.