ORIGIN STORIES OF A FAMILY NATURE

By Cheryl L’Hirondelle

kinanāskomitinawaw – thank you to the lək̓ʷəŋən People, whose land the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is on and whose language and stories engage with this place more eloquently and accurately than these words and this short story can ever hope to. Regardless, thank you to the dedicated and caring AGGV staff and curator Jaimie Isaac for inviting me to share.

THE TRANSFORMATION OF A BEAD: REFLECTIONS FROM CONNIE PAUL’S BEADING WORKSHOP

By Natalie Rollins, AGGV Public Programs Coordinator

Standing in circle under the golden Garry oak growing in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s courtyard, Yetta woke the heart beat of a drum with a soft slow thrum, thrum, thrum. She opens into song reflecting this gentle rhythm and deep reverberance. Yetta’s teachings for the beading workshop begin; we have been invited to learn about the transformation of a bead.

Reflecting on National Indigenous Peoples Day

By Mel Granley, Guest Curator at the AGGV.

June is recognized as National Indigenous History Month. National Indigenous Peoples Day is a holiday celebrated in Canada every year on the 21st of June. This holiday was officially established in 1996 and is intended to “recognize the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada” according to Canada.ca. I ask myself, what does this day mean to me? I am a Métis and Ukrainian person living in Canada, and this day brings mixed feelings of pride and concern. 

Dear Indigenous Child

By Ross Neasloss Jr. (Kitasoo Xai Xai’s Nation)

The Holding Ground exhibit, has been a monumental experience for me. Working with so many Indigenous folks from all across turtle island. We met bi-weekly to share stories, and hold space for our deep emotions and connections to the land and each other. Along with my personal journey of land based healing, I received some wonderful words and messages during those times. These messages I got, I do not carry lightly, as they deserve to be held with care and compassion.

Rethinking Emily: The Responsibility We Carry

By Mel Granley, Guest Curator

Emily Carr has become almost synonymous with the Pacific Northwest; her work being displayed year-round in different exhibition contexts to ensure the satisfaction of visitors to the AGGV. This drive to see her work is directed by the idea of checking off a list of great and thoroughly known artists within the artistic canon. The issue? The “art canon” is heavily Euro-Western centered and very keenly demonstrates a bias for settler-European art, while largely failing to acknowledge the artistic merits of historic and contemporary BIPOC artists.

Nirin: The 22nd Biennale of Sydney – Five Challenging Artworks

By Haema Sivanesan, AGGV Curator

I was “back home” in Sydney in early March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic was announced, and was gratified -– more than 30 years later — to be attending the opening of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, titled Nirin. For the first time in its history, the Biennale was being curated by an Aboriginal artist, Brook Andrew, a Wiradjuri man, whose ancestral lands are in central New South Wales.