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At The Edge Of Canada: Indigenous Research

Today our guest is Tsimshi­an-Gitk­san/Cree-Métis artist Skeena Reece. Her show Sweet­grass and Hon­ey” has been run­ning at the Plug-In Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art in down­town Win­nipeg since Jan­u­ary 20 and is set to wrap on March 18. Skeena gives us a viru­al tour of the exhib­it, one that has been billed as a sur­vey of sorts” of some of her most rec­og­niz­able work with the addi­tion of some new work, too. The focal point of the exhib­it is a mock liv­ing room set-up slight­ly off-cen­tre, point­ing inten­tion­al­ly away from an awe-inspir­ing wall mur­al com­mis­sioned from Wuik­in­uxv-Kla­hoose mul­ti­me­dia artist Brack­en Hanuse Cor­lett. It is not until you sit in that chair does one feel the full weight of the sto­ries and ideas and feel­ings that are com­piled in the show. There are a num­ber of oth­er pow­er­ful pieces in Sweet­grass and Hon­ey” that Skeena com­mis­sioned like a series of pic­tures of Skeena with pho­to­shopped scenes of colo­nial resis­tance on her body illus­trat­ed by Kwak­waka’wakw artist Gord Hill and a mis­chie­vous and satir­i­cal por­trait of Skeena done by set­tler artist Collin Elder. Skeena and I chat about the artis­tic process, how com­mis­sion­ing art works as a form, the affec­tive ener­gy of Sweet­grass and Hon­ey”, and she shares the pro­found influ­ence James Luna had on her as an Indige­nous artist.

We ded­i­cate the show to the mem­o­ry and spir­it of James Luna who passed away on March 4