- March 6, 2020 to April 11, 2020
For her first solo exhibition in Vancouver, Meagan Musseau presents a body of work from her ongoing research responding to Beothuk and Mi’kmaq visual culture. Musseau uses a multi-disciplinary practice that involves archival research, land-based action, video, drawing, and sculpture to explore land, language, and design. By telling stories about cultural belongings from the perspective of a contemporary L’nu woman living on Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland), Musseau’s work transfers knowledge from archived collections into contemporary visual consciousness. A braided sculpture made during a land-based action in Musseau’s home region of Elmastukwek (Bay of Islands, NL) forms the physical and conceptual center of the exhibition. While the act of endurance required to create the 22 foot braid connects to stories and nomadic histories of the Mi’kmaq, the object itself carries the history of the land in its creation. A series of tall sculptures rendered in engraved plexiglass reference Beothuk caribou bone pendants that Musseau visited during museum research. Evoking the artist’s experience of visiting cultural belongings through plexiglass cases, the sculptures re/awaken their designs by enlarging them to a human scale and presence. A site specific wall installation integrates the material qualities of the braid with graphic elements from the pendant designs. These textures surround an image of Musseau beside one of Santu Toney, a woman living in the early 1900s with mixed Mi’kmaw and Beothuk ancestry. Musseau’s work seeks to honour Santu by highlighting the transmission of knowledge that exists between past, present, and future generations. pi’tawkewaq | our people up river presents contemporary cultural belongings that index and render tangible Musseau’s active practice of building and maintaining her relationships to land and ancestor artists. She uses her perspective to overturn colonial narratives of disappearance and instead addresses the role of interterritorial relationships between the two nations as a guiding methodology.
By Meagan Musseau
- Curated by Laurie White