Eastern Edge is excited to present a preview of our upcoming 2019 Programming! All of this is made possible thanks to our generous core operating sponsors, including Canada Council for the Arts, ArtsNL, and The City of St. John’s.
Keepers of the Light
Curated by Emma Hassencahl-Perley
June 1st – 29th, 2019
Good Medicine, pendant by Shane Perley-Dutcher.
Keepers of the Light is a group exhibition of Indigenous artists who have been influenced by the land, their people, and are responding to the first light and the “awakening”. The exhibition will be on display from June 1st – June 31stat Eastern Edge Gallery to coincide with Petapan Indigenous Arts Symposium in St.John’s. Keepers of the Light will focus on the awakening of our identities, as we become conscious of our bodies, spaces, and histories – both social and cultural. Taking initiative to seek traditional knowledge, stories, and teachings – we are all are in the midst of unpacking and relearning our past. Realizing that there is tremendous richness in fusing the old with new mediums, technologies, and approaches, the exhibition will reaffirm Indigenous artists of the Atlantic region’s position in contemporary art. This exhibition will highlight Indigenous artists of the Atlantic Provinces who are making work that awakens their spiritual, cultural, visual, and political identities – combining traditional and contemporary ways of making.
Emma Hassencahl-Perley is Wolastoqiyik (people of the beautiful, bountiful river), commonly known as Maliseet. Originally from Tobique First Nation, NB, she currently lives and works in Fredericton, NB, as an emerging curator at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University (’17). Emma’s artwork explores themes of legislative identity; the truth about our shared history between Indigenous peoples and the Settler state and society of Canada; and her own identity as a Wolastoqiyik woman. Her art practice is rooted in painting and printmaking, however, in recent years it has shifted towards installation, beadwork, textiles and performance on top of her usual creation methods.
A Hole So Big It Became The Sky
Coco Guzman & Mikiki
Curated by Kailey Bryan
July 6 – August 3, 2019
Las Cosas, 2019. Coco Guzman. Image Credit: Teresa Martin
What happens when our experiences are Too Big to talk about? When they resist the symbolic register of language? How do we transmit them, how do we hold them? The horrific, and the transcendent. Holes are scattered behind us, as we weave unevenly our collective history.
This exhibition pairs two artists who manifest the Too Big through image and performance. Coco
Guzman’s painting and drawing practice deftly articulates personal and collective trauma, lacing the
mundane and the disturbing together into complex, visually compelling scenes. Mikiki is a tentpole artist in the queer history of Newfoundland, known for their provocative performance art that foregrounds the queer, poz body in actions that combine risk and humour, earnestness and irony.
For A Hole So Big It Became The Sky, Guzman will work with a group of queer-identified St. John’s
residents to represent the defiant gaps in collective memory. In an immersive mural that spans the
gallery walls they will map the pain and ecstasy of our community. Against this horizon perches a bizarre and evocative scene: strewn about the floor, esoteric items radiate sensual energy – props for Mikiki’s performance work. Mikiki acts as a storyteller, a facilitator, an exorcist. They call from these muted objects the poetic residues of queers past, exploring community auto-ethnography as a somatic practice, asking, what ghosts live in these walls? How do we bid them to speak? And what might their voices sound like?
In A Hole So Big It Became The Sky, the hole is both an overwhelming void and an object of desire. Here we revisit queer histories, as succulent and immediate as they are contradictory, intangible,
unknowable; we bear witness to the intimacies and whispers that can only emanate from curled