Welcoming introspective, Indigenous art perspectives

Urban Shaman Gallery hosts Living with Contradiction

Living with Contradiction and Other Work is being presented by Urban Shaman until Dec. 4. (Supplied photo)

Indigenous-centred discussions are being nurtured by a recent installation at the Urban Shaman Gallery. The Living with Contradiction and Other Work exhibition was curated by multidisciplinary Montreal artist Nadia Myre, and it explores Indigenous histories, settler/colonial relationships and lived experiences.

“My practice combines beadwork, stitchwork, photography, video, installation, performance and collaborative process as a way to have people engage in conversations about identity, resilience and politics of belonging,” Myre says in a statement about the exhibition on Urban Shaman’s website.

Myre is an Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg First Nation, and her work explores some of her cultural roots through collaborations. Some of them are featured in the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario and Canadian embassies across the globe. Daina Warren, Urban Shaman gallery director, has worked with Myre in exhibitions ever since she worked at grunt gallery in Vancouver.

“I worked with Nadia for a very long time. What I have noticed from her career is the fact that she works with the idea of community by having people contributing to her practice,” Warren says.

The exhibition can be viewed in person by booking a 30-minute appointment with the gallery, as well as online through the virtual platform. Urban Shaman is also making sure that their content is translated into seven Indigenous languages spoken in Manitoba through their Sacred Sounds: The Legacy of Anishinaabemowin initiative.

“We just launched the virtual gallery on our website, and you can watch the videos at your own time, but it is always way better to come and see the show,” Warren says.

Urban Shaman is a public gallery with a mandate of featuring work by First Nations, Inuit and Metis artists. Their programming is often free, with the exception of member shows that are held with the objective of supporting artists.

“We have about six to eight shows, and you can call ahead (and) make an appointment to come see the shows in its best way. Since we are mandated as Indigenous, it will always be Indigenous art that you will see unless there is a crossover between organizations and curators,” she says.

Living with Contradiction and Other Work is located at the Main and Marvin sections of the gallery, and the exhibition has been extended to Dec. 4. Urban Shaman is also celebrating its 25th anniversary, and members can join an online exhibition with artwork priced from 50 cents to $500 to celebrate.

To check out Myre’s installation in person, contact [email protected]. The online version is available on Urban Shaman’s website.

Published in Volume 76, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 18, 2021)

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