From Sky World to Cyberspace
Curated by Matthew Ryan Smith
March 21 – April 27, 2019
Artist Talk: Tuesday, March 19 at 4:30pm, VAC 100
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 21 at 8pm

Image: Skawennati, Celestial Tree: She Falls for Ages, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

In From Sky World to Cyberspace, artist Skawennati (Mohawk, turtle clan) investigates concepts of time and self. Through representations of avatars, most notably her online persona (which she has maintained for over a decade in the virtual world, Second Life), Skawennati engages various mechanisms of gaming and play, interweaving traditional Mohawk stories and ritual objects with new technologies and processes.

Using important Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) philosophies such as the Sky Woman Story of Creation and the Ohen:ton Karihwatehkewn (Thanksgiving Address), Skawennati approaches cyberspace as a metaphor for the future. Drawing on ancestral narratives to chart alternative realities is a key principle of Indigenous Futurism, the movement that reimagines the artistic and social potential of Indigenous peoples in years to come. The works in this exhibition adopt the framework of Indigenous Futurism to perceive the future as being synonymous with possibility.

For more information contact Abby Vincent, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, avince5@uwo.ca, 519.661.2111 ext. 87576

We Are From Nicodemus
Deanna Bowen
Curated by The Family Camera Network
March 21 – April 27, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 21 at 8pm

Image: Deanna Bowen, We Are From Nicodemus, video still, 2017. Image courtesy of the artist.

In We Are From Nicodemus Deanna Bowen traces threads of her family history as it relates to historical accounts of African American migration from the Midwest to the Canadian Prairies. The video documents Bowen’s first meeting with her cousin, Angela Bates, with whom she connected after finding a photograph of Angela’s grandmother, Elizabeth Risby Williams, during her genealogical research. Through a series of interviews presented in eight episodes, she builds connections with extended family members, recovering stories of her family’s migration from Nicodemus, Kansas to Campsie, Alberta in the early 1900s.

Established in 1877 during the period of reconstruction following the American Civil War, Nicodemus was one of several African American settlements in Kansas. The town represented freedom and opportunity to the founding families, who migrated from Kentucky to escape white supremacy and racial segregation in the south. The town prospered for several years but declined at the end of the 19th century after railroad companies bypassed the settlement. In the 1970s, Nicodemus was designated a National Historic Site.

For more information contact Abby Vincent, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, avince5@uwo.ca, 519.661.2111 ext. 87576