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July 9 -August 15, 2015
Latcham Gallery, Stouffville, Ontario
Curator, Chai Duncan
The Latcham Gallery is very pleased to present this solo exhibition by Anishinaabe (Odawa) artist Barry Ace, who this year was the recipient of the 2015 KM Hunter Award for Visual Art.
Drawing inspiration from multiple facets of traditional Anishinaabeg culture gathered from historical sources, found objects and cultural research, Ace creates objects and imagery that utilize many traditional techniques, forms and motifs and infuses these with a contemporary energy that grounds the work, and by extension the artist himself firmly in the present historical moment. In the bead works that permeate all the pieces in the exhibition the artist uses traditional glass beads in conjunction with capacitors, resistors and light emitting diodes that turn our readings of these objects on their heads. He extends this material mash up by using traditional glass beads to create representations of electronic schematics as well as transposing traditional designs into a digital signal seen on a video monitor hidden beneath the folds of a traditional bandolier bag. In a memorial work dedicated to his late adopted brother titled Memory Landscape, Ace uses the form of the Anishinaabeg sacred birch bark scroll to weave a personal narrative that reveals their shared journey as youths exploring their traditional territory by canoe. Archival Kodachrome images transposed onto scanned pieces of birch bark and infused with hybrid bead-work tell a personal story filled with poignancy and power.
Now based in Ottawa, Barry Ace works to reflect back to the wider multi-cultural Canadian community the vitality and cultural liveliness of his home community of M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Weaving the personal with the political and endeavouring to create a convergence of the historical and the contemporary he has generated a body of work deeply steeped in Traditional Knowledge reflecting an enduring spirituality rooted in the land.
Chai Duncan – Curator
The digital version of the catalogue is available for free download (here)