I haven’t been to an exhibition in quite some time, so I was more than happy to go to the opening of the Spring Exhibitions at the AGM (the Art Gallery of Mississauga). There are two exhibitions up for the Spring, “niigaanikwewag” which means “leader women” or “they who lead ahead/ in the future” in Anishinaabemowin. It refers to the female artists as leaders in Indigenous Arts. The theme embodies the fact that Indigenous women have always been present, nurturing art, culture, family, and community and that they are tied to one another and the earth. There is beautiful (and haunting) work by Joi T. Arcand, Shuvinai Ashoona, Catherine Blackburn, Aylan Couchie, Ruth Cuthand, Thirza Cuthand, Dayna Danger, Raven Davis, Bonnie Devine, Maria Hupfield, Nadya Kwandibens, Amy Malbeuf, Jane Ash Poitras, Ningiukulu Teevee, and Arielle Twist.
We were lucky to attend the Opening and witness a powerful and heart-wrenching performance by Raven Davis. It was a much-needed reminder of the past cruelties endured and more sadly the fact that even today countless Indigenous Sisters are missing and still being abused. I can’t put into words what a tragedy this is or how beautifully this artist portrayed that tragedy. You just had to be there. Stay tuned for another post as niigaanikwewag needs its own special place. It is a must-see exhibition open to the public until June 16, 2019.