Image: Darlene St. Georges, Face à l’est (Facing East) (detail), 2018.
Artist: Darlene St. Georges
Curated by Josie Mills
Admission is free. All are welcome.
uLethbridge Art Gallery opens 2 new exhibitions: Collected by Dr. Margaret (Marmie) Hess: Maxwell Bates in the Hess Gallery and Embodied Landscapes, by artist Darlene St. Georges, in the Helen Christou Gallery.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its findings and issued 90 Calls to Action, including a call to museums to review policies and implement best practices to advance reconciliation. It felt like a momentous time, with non-Indigenous Canadians recognizing the legacy of residential schools for all of us. As 2019 starts, that sense of urgency has started to fade and there is concern that the calls for action will not be taken up. The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery is committed to keeping the momentum from the TRC going and to building bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and perspectives. Thus, it is with pleasure that we exhibit Darlene St. Georges’ exploration of identity through her multi-textural dialogue of photo-digital collage, poetry and sound. As well, the Art Gallery has a number of other projects underway that will create diverse connections between people, support the professional development of Indigenous artists and curators, and present more exciting and engaging Indigenous art work.
My cryptic imagination ignited my sacred pilgrimage,
Fleeing the antagonists, down the stairs toward my ancestors;
Red folds trans-dancing to copper voices,
Defying the mythmakers,
Spilling out Earth’s meditations amid the drum.
As a Métis artist and poet from the Quebec Métis Nation, I endeavor to explore knowledge(s) based in ontological and embodied experiential knowing through my unfolding identity memories, dreams, and created (artistic) spaces.
My current PhD research, Embodied Landscapes is a self-study project — an entry point on my path of reclaiming my Indigenous identity, where such identity has historically been erased through the laws of the Indian Act and the systematic dismantling of Indigenous culture, knowledge and language in Canada. As I re-trace and retrieve my Indigenous heritage, I interrogate Western notions of identity that isolate self from subjective experience and knowledge. Through my work I explore identity as a non-fixed entity, an evolving relational self, embodied with/in a creation process.
My arts-based methodological framework enacts multi-textural dialogues, a term I coined that identifies a type of metaphorical dialectic that is activated through a visible, textual and ethereal interplay with/in a critical creation-research process. Through my creation-research I purposively use multiple lines of inquiry to nurture and explore the complexity of my ‘self’ as inter/intra connective being. As a transformative practice, multi-textural dialogues act in the formulation and articulation of knowledge(s) and understanding through action, reflection and relationality – in the being and doing of creating art.
My scholarly artistic practice draws on current aesthetic and art education theories, contemplative and poetic inquiry, life writing as métissage, and is embedded in Indigenous methodology. My research trajectory considers creation-research a vital component to critical dialogue surrounding arts-based methodologies and the evolution of scholarship.
Darlene St Georges is a visual artist, poet and emerging scholar. She is assistant professor of art education at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and PhD candidate in the department of Art Education at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.
Glossary of Terms
atriho’tat pay attention
a-yee-ia-hchia my heart
iyäa’tou’tenh her body
oa’tahndirih she is strong
tewendihwen lightning strikes
tëndih teyäa’tayeh two bodies
wendahronk to hear her voice
yändicha celestial body
Sources: https://www.mikmaqonline.org/ https://glosbe.com/en/mic/
gimtemit cry silently, cry secretly
asoqoma’sit cross over
nestuapuguet speak wisely
gsite’tagan precious, cherished, valued
elue’wa’latl fool, trick
alsusuti self determination