Faye HeavyShield   Clan

February 29, 2020 - September 13, 2020

Clan was developed without predetermination from the artist, but rather by unfolding itself organically. Faye HeavyShield engages in a dialogue with the ways the idea presents itself, and through this process the idea is distilled to reveal its true form, its essence. Like the land in which it takes place, the idea isn’t fenced in or restricted. It is free to become what it will be, and in that way, it is like the river or the valley. They are in a constant state of change, yet they are what they are. The resulting artwork reflects exactly that. 

Land and time are the materials with which Faye HeavyShield is working. Gestures are made without permanent implications to the land, while recognizing that the land itself is in perpetual flux. The work alludes to the impermanence of the womens’ presence in the land as well as the transient nature of the land itself. The state of the land at the time of production becomes part of the work: the weather, the temperature, the sky, the sounds. Playful acts are made through space and time, land and gesture. Relations are also implied – kinship among each other and, perhaps more essentially, kinship to the land. Communications between the women and the land are expressed through their actions. The physical connection is what is being expressed; deeper meanings or statements are open to interpretation from the viewer.

Clan resists categorization, distorting the borders between determined classifications for art practices and media: site-specificity, performance, video, photography, documentary, textiles, installation, sculpture. It is not restricted by any of these labels, and yet encompasses elements of them.

The exhibition includes an Into the Streets public artwork, a photographic mural of Kainai waterways by Faye HeavyShield, A river is a river but it is never the same. 

Curated by Kristy Trinier and Kylie Fineday 

Photography assistance by Blaine Campbell 

Faye HeavyShield is a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy from the Kainai (Blood) Nation in the foothills of Southern Alberta. She is a fluent speaker of the Blackfoot language and studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Alberta. The landscape of HeavyShield’s home community near Stand Off, Alberta is evident in her continuous use of natural materials and imagery found in her minimalist works. HeavyShield has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the Canada, including Nations in Urban Landscapes at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, BC, rock paper river at Gallery Connexion, Fredericton, NB, Into the Garden of Angels at The Power Plant in Toronto, ON and blood at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. Her work is found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the McMichael Museum, Alberta Foundation of Art and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, SK and the Kelowna Art Gallery, BC.

Kylie Fineday is a multi-disciplinary Cree artist from Sweetgrass First Nation, Saskatchewan. Her art practice focuses on themes of identity and family, as well as addressing social issues and injustices, particularly those affecting Indigenous people in Canada. She is currently completing her BFA at the University of Lethbridge. She has exhibited her work in various institutions in Lethbridge, Alberta, and has also curated art exhibits for the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, and FLIP Fest, a non-profit organization, and recently co-curated the exhibition Of Surroundings at the SAAG with Kristy Trinier. 

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