Weather Collection is a series of online storytelling events and digital exhibitions combined with in-person exhibitions and hands-on artmaking that invite people across Canada to build new relationships with the future of our planet. The series arises from a long-term research partnership between artist Lisa Hirmer and uLethbridge Art Gallery that focuses on creating a collective sense of possibility in response to the barriers for making the changes needed to survive the climate crisis. The Weather Collection series aims to work with the specific property of visual art to spark the imagination in order to open up new perspectives on the discussion about our environment and support productive possibilities for the future.
Weather Collection is a cross-Canada partnership between the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax; the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton; the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, Queens University, Kingston; and the Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse. The project is primarily funded by a Digital Now grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
LIST OF PROJECTS:
Everything We Have Done Is Weather Now
Artist: Lisa Hirmer
Curator: Josephine Mills
Hess Gallery, uLethbridge Art Gallery
January 19 – May 18, 2023
Lisa Hirmer’s gorgeous photographs of weather data bridge the divide between everyday conversations about weather and the enormity of the climate crisis, thereby helping to open up possibilities for imagining different futures for our planet.
Talking about the weather used to just be a banal topic for conversation, a perennial and innocuous backdrop to everyday life. But with the climate emergency looming ever bigger, this is no longer the case. The weather is now something much more complicated, something at once an everyday experience and a harbinger of a new planet-scaled reality that is hard to comprehend. In this exhibition, Guelph-based artist Lisa Hirmer shifts the focus on weather to the day-to-day with her gorgeous photographs of weather data, such as historical handwritten weather records and snow levels in test tubes that depict declining snowfall in her region. The beauty of the images draws viewers in, piques their curiosity, and opens up a route around the impasse on climate crisis and towards relating to our environment.
Coulees Remember Glaciers
Artist: Ooleepeeka Eegeesiak
Christou Gallery, uLethbridge Art Gallery
January 13 – March 24, 2023
Through ecology and storytelling, connection to culture and place at great distances becomes possible as an Inuk/qallunaaq in Treaty 7 lands. These works of poetry, illustration, and more relate experiences of displacement, diaspora, dream worlds, kinship, intergenerational skills, alienation, and imagined utopia.
Every Possible Future Is Multispecies
Curated by Ooleepeeka Eegeesiak
Hess Gallery, uLethbridge Art Gallery
October 6, 2022 – January 13, 2023
Every possible future is multispecies provides a glimpse into an interdependent world, defying constructed dualisms and hierarchies between humans, other species, and natural phenomena through works by Inuit artists.
A Project by Lisa Hirmer
October 2022 – September 2023
The online storytelling events, titled Weather Stories, is organized by Lisa Hirmer and will bring together scientists, Indigenous Elders, artists, poets, gardeners, and activists from diverse backgrounds to tell tales about their experiences of weather.
October 12, 7 – 8 pm mdt (local Alberta time)
Alberta Stories featuring Moni Brar, Ooleepeeka Eegeesiak & Sandra Lamouche
November 2, 7 – 8 pm edt (local Ontario time)
Yukon/Ontario Stories featuring Sharada Eswar, Katherine Lawless, and Kim Melton
Lawless and Melton will perform as a duo referencing letters they’ve been sending to each other to “write” a back-and-forth story.
Kim Melton (she/her), @kimsmelton, is a queer naturalist of european and settler descent who thrives in the boreal forest she calls home. She resides, with gratitude, in the Traditional Territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation on the Klondike River, near Dawson City, Yukon. She spends perhaps too much time considering how to live a good life. She devotes herself to living lightly on the land at her shared off-grid river-access orchard, writing her way through the forest and hoping her work will bring others into closer, healthy relationship with the natural world. Somewhat to her surprise, some of her dearest companions of late have been Jack Russell terriers.
Sharada Eswar is a writer, storyteller, singer and arts educator, Sharada’s work spans multidisciplines and art forms. A graduate in Literature Studies, she trained to be a writer and a storyteller. Simultaneously she also immersed herself in Carnatic Music (south Indian classical music) in Chennai, India. She also took to many other styles including Hindustani Classical (Patiala Gharana) Rabindra Sangeet, Abhang and European. While maintaining her Veena studies, her interest shifted to the voice and storytelling. She was part of the team representing India at the India Abroad show in Paris and New York. She was also one of the three chosen by the Centres Culturels des Lions Clubs de Paris to present Indian culture in Normandy, France. Since moving to Toronto, she has been performing and teaching in Toronto and internationally, drawing on her South Asian ancestry and heritage. A published children’s author, Sharada was the OAC Cultural Animator for the Mississauga/Peel region and Community Activator at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. In recent years, she has exhibited work at the Peel Art Gallery and Museum and served as Assistant Director at the Shaw Festival. Sharada has been involved with Jumblies Theatre for over a decade, as guest artist, performer, cultural interpreter (Tamil), community partner (via the Art Gallery of Mississauga), Board member and chair, Assistant Artistic Director, and, as of September 2022, Incoming Artistic Director, and ongoing Lead Artist of the blue skies, red earth & tall pines multi-year community engaged project.
November 16, 7 – 8 pm est (local Ontario time)
Ontario Stories featuring David Janzen, Peter Schuler, and Ze’ev Gedalof
Ze’ev Gedalof‘s research addresses a range of problems related to forest ecosystem dynamics, climatic variability, and natural resources management. His research approach incorporates a broad spectrum of tools and techniques, but most of his ongoing projects involve the analysis of tree-rings in order to reconstruct past patterns of stand development, disturbance, and climate. Gedalof is especially interested in understanding the processes that has caused recent changes in the position of mid-latitude treelines – both in mountain environments, and in temperate savannahs.
David Janzen writes, teaches, and creates on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples. His research, writing and art spans genres and media, including poetry, sound art, music, and philosophy. Recent work includes: a poetry chapbook titled nature : nurture, which explores daily rhythms of raising an infant in the midst of climate catastrophe; Soil as a Relational Medium, a research project that examines how we can relate to soil in more sustainable ways; and rivertime a collaborative project that uses canoeing to help us rethink our relationship to colonial histories of Canadian rivers. David lives in London, Ontario, with his family and teaches at the University of Waterloo.
Weather Stories is a partnership between the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax; the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton; the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, Queens University, Kingston; and the Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse. This project is funded by a Digital Now grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
March 2, 6 – 7 pm mst (local Alberta time)
Alberta stories featuring Louise Barrett, Beany Dootjes, & John Stoll.
Zoom Event Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82172074616.
March 9, 6 – 7 pm mst (local Alberta time)
Alberta stories featuring Api’soomaahka (William Singer III).
Zoom Event Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88596473053
A Tour With the Artists and Curators of Everything We Have Done Is Weather Now and Coulees Remember Glaciers
Tuesday, January 24
6 – 7 pm
Snacks & refreshments
Admission is free | All are welcome
Jan 7, 2023, weather themed project. In-person, hands-on artmaking at uLethbridge Art Gallery.
About Lisa Hirmer
Lisa Hirmer is an interdisciplinary artist who works in visual media, especially photography; social practice; performance; and occasionally writing. Her work is focused on collective relationships—that which exists between things rather than simply within them—both in human communities and in human relationships with the more-than-human world. A lot of her recent work wrestles with what it means to be living inside the climate emergency and on the edge of planet-scaled ecological collapse.
Her practice is unapologetically sincere in its engagement with the world and deeply connected to the communities and places that surround its creation. Her work finds home both in traditional gallery contexts and an expanded field of other public and semi-public spaces. It is always created with a keen awareness—informed by a mixed Mexican and European-newcomer Canadian background—that multiple realities exist alongside one another.