MARY ANNE BARKHOUSE
Curated by Stuart Reid
Presented by Rodman Hall Art Centre with financial support of the Government of Canada through Cultural Capitals of Canada, a program of the Department of Canadian Heritage
Continues on the grounds of Rodman Hall through September 2016
In creating this new outdoor installation for Rodman Hall, Barkhouse examines issues of sovereignty and confederacy from an indigenous ecological vantage point. As an aboriginal woman, Barkhouse is mindful of the history of conflict imprinted on this region of Ontario, particularly during this bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812. Many of the conflicts and alliances between First Nations and settling cultures that played out two hundred years ago are still unresolved today.
Settlement incorporates sculptural elements into an artist’s garden built in the shape of a frontier house (16 x 20 feet). Last spring, the artist planted a series of border gardens of indigenous plants including corn, squash, beans and quinoa. Situated in the interior spaces of the garden are life-size bronze sculptures of a coyote and a badger, alluding to the cooperative nature of the allies involved in the 1812 conflict. Badgers and coyotes are known to be cooperative hunters in their search for small burrowing animals in the wild. Barkhouse is interested in the contentious nature of territory as is relates to struggles over land, whether between humans, amongst animals or plants.
An illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Stuart Reid and an interview with the artist by Michelle LaVallee, Associate Curator at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, will be forthcoming in 2013. This publication is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Barkhouse was born in Vancouver and belongs to the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and has exhibited her work widely. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, her recent solo exhibition entitled Boreal Baroque toured Canada.
In this audiocast, Barkhouse discusses some of her intentions behind the work: