June 23rd, 2024

SAAG exhibits reflect cultures that inspired them

By Cal Braid - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 25, 2023.

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) will open three new exhibits today and house them until April 23. An opening reception for the exhibitions will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. The reception includes a special singing performance and guests will have an opportunity to meet the artists.
The lower gallery will display ‘My mind is with the weather,’ by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Tiffany Shaw. Linklater is from Ontario and is Alutiiq, a southern coastal Alaska native. Shaw is from Edmonton and identifies as Metis and settler.
A SAAG media release described their work this way: “Through architecture, video, performance, and craft, the duo contends with violence towards Indigenous relations. Both artists consider the bodily movements of everyday life as actions of defiance, with breath, song, and craft recognized for their importance in rebuilding homes, relationships, and language.”
In the upper gallery, Marigold Santos, a Calgarian from the Philippines presents ‘the pace and rhythm of time, floating.’ Santos’ exhibit features large paintings along with an audio soundscape, narrative text, and a large-scale drawing.
“Santos thematically addresses the folk dance tradition of the Philippines called tinikling,” the release said.
Adam Whitford, interim curator at the SAAG explained tinikling as being inspired by a bird, the tikling, that “walks like it’s dancing.” Tinikling is characterized by two individuals knocking together two long bamboo poles while two dancers move and hop up and over the poles. Its origins are traced back to the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. The indigenous locals were punished by their colonial rulers with bamboo poles that were dashed against their legs and ankles, and they began to practice hopping to avoid the blows. It eventually morphed from an avoidant technique into a form of dance. The dance represents “an act of embodied resilience,” Whitford said.
Chataya Holy Singer is a Kainai Blackfoot interdisciplinary artist whose exhibit, ‘No’Tsiitsi — My Hands’ is in the library gallery. Holy Singer is a U of L graduate and Lethbridge resident. In ‘My Hands,’ she combines the mediums of analog photography, performance, beading, and sewing. The exhibit consists of 80 black and white photographs showing the artist crafting a pair of leather moccasins. The moccasins are decorated with traditional Blackfoot beaded diamond patterns, and the completed moccasins will be on display.
Tanya Lukin Linklater and Tiffany Shaw will be on hand at the gallery on
Saturday at 4 p.m. to discuss the exhibition ‘My mind is with the
weather’ as part of the Articulations Art Lecture Series. Both the opening
reception and articulations are free for gallery members. For non-members,
regular gallery admission applies.

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