I am a Nehiyaw Isko artist, from Bigstone Cree Nation. Currently residing in Amiskwaciy Waskahikan also known as Edmonton, Alberta. I graduated from Emily Carr University with my BFA in Visual Arts in 2019. My work often explores history, knowledge and traditional practices. Through the use of my body and language, I speak to the past, present and future. My work is rooted in the strength to feel, express and heal. Bringing my ancestors with me, I move through installation, photography, video, sound, and performance art.
Recently, I had the honour of being an artist in residence at the Banff Centre this past month. Where I created a new work called Mullyanne nîmiw ᓃᒥᐤ. Nîmiw in nêhiyawêwin translates to she dances. I’m very excited to share the documentation from this performance with you all.
At the Banff centre I worked on making my own fancy shawl. Weaving together 3,300 bepsi/ beer tabs using ribbon. After completing the garment, I performed at the Banff Centre with Nimama. Nanâskomitin, I am so grateful to Nimama Connie LeGrande for her beautiful songs and Nehiyaw spoken word and to Linsay Willier Kendall for teaching me some basic fancy dance moves.
Nanaskomitin to my partner Shaun Hansen, to my Banff cohort, and the Banff Centre for all the love and support.
greetings all, I am lisa nevada. I am a guest in Lenapehoking, originally from Pueblo, Tiwa, Piro and Chiricahua Apache Territory also known as Nuevoméxico. Adopted as an infant, I know less about myself than I or others would like. Ongoing research tells me that my bloodlines connect to Mexican Indigenous and Iberian heritages.
I can tell you that I am a burqueña, an Indigenous Chicana who grew up and spent most of her life surrounded by Pueblo, Mexican, and New Mexican cultures – a gift for me but a place that folks tend to misunderstand, misrepresent, or stereotype to make sense of their own ideas about these cultures. I am also a product of assimilation and a rural suburban upbringing.
Even so, growing up, and well into adulthood, I participated and witnessed ceremonies and rituals that have had a direct influence on how and why I make dance offerings for the earth, humans, and more-than-human. The pulsating rhythms of the feast day dances and drums, the ritual burning of incense and piñon, the sights and smells of community food making, and the welcoming of all to sit down and eat, play a profound role in my life as a person, as an artist. I am deeply aware of the significance of performing an offering for an audience of one, none, or many. I know that even in the absence of humans, the offering is received by the earth energies, the land, waters and animals, and ancestors. My background, known and unknown, are the guiding light behind my intuition to dance, gather for healing, and practice and unleash deep gratitude for this life and our earth mother.
I have the great honor of sharing a film of my solo offering for Shooting Gallery’s Performance Series #11 “Digital Edition”.
skin of trees took root late-spring last year in the high plains of Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Cheyenne, and Apsaalooké (Crow) territories aka Wyoming, and has continued to present a life for itself in many forms. it has become my own path towards awareness and a slow evolution towards honest self-love and deep love for others. the land, plants and trees, waters, and animals remind me there is hope.
while bathed in the imagery of tree, chants and lullabies, a calm state is conjured, gently guiding us through a cycle meant to activate a path toward a restoration of our relationship to the land, within oneself, and with each other.
I call skin of trees an offering because it has indeed become that, an offering for my continued healing, and offering for our mama, our mamas, our abuelas, our hijas, our hermanas, our tias, our primas, and all our femme relatives. it is an invitation to be still for a time, breathe, listen, witness, send good int
We belong to the land. The land belongs to us. We are in a mutual relationship with land.
We belong to each other. Not in the capitalist sense of ownership, but an indigenous collective matriarchal way. In a way that involves respect, responsibility, and generosity.
The past few years has seen me dancing out more on the land and spending more time outdoors. Although the practice of ‘land dancing’ is not new. I have spent several months over the past decade working with Rulan Tangen of Dancing Earth (Santa Fe) creating and collaborating with a diverse group of artists with the environment and land as the inspiration, from movement to eco-friendly costumes.
When the popularity of the Land Back movement took hold I had to do a lot of reflecting and learning on what this meant to me, my family and my community. This movement is not just about land ownership. It is about returning to land and culture. It is also about adhering to treaty agreements and addressing the ongoing problem with Indigenous consultations and land acknowledgements in a fair and just way. The Indigenous led movement is all of this and more. It is complex, interconnected, and extensive.
These goals might seem audacious in the face of the colonial oppression we were taught. How incredulous and bold a statement it may seem to some to suggest Indigenous people are entitled to our own lands, cultures, languages, and more.
The last few years during the pandemic have helped me to reset my life. I have been able to align myself more with the natural cycles of nature and spending winters close to home, hibernating, alone, quiet and reflecting. Travelling in spring and summer. Harvesting more often medicines, food, and hunting with my family. This has got me thinking that we don’t need permission for Land Back. We can start right now by returning to the land and continuing our relationships with plants and animals regardless of the colonial state.
My performance piece explores the theme of Land Back through a multidisciplinary approach.
– sitting at a kitchen table on a community farm, late on a friday night –
– awaiting a crew to arrive in the morning to film a music video about a horned creature –
– twenty-nine days ago, i drove 5000 km from the far east of turtle island all the way to the west coast to work, play and live –
– on sunday, when the music video is complete, I will drive another 5000 km back to the east to work for three weeks and then i will drive another 5000 km back to the west coast to grow and live in a new house –
-at the 2500 km mark both ways, I will pass through the land and along the rivers I was born and raised on –
-sitting at a kitchen table on a community farm, late on a friday night –
– three of us got right into deep conversation about colonialism, sustainable farming, meditation and art –
– somewhere in the throws, the phrase: “all roads lead home” fell out, causing a great pause and reflection in the conversation –
-reflection about the journeys we take in life, the roads we grew up on, mysteriously familiar trails in forests and the phrase as a potential zen buddhist koan –
– we filmed the music video –
– i spent the next 5 days alone on the road, driving 5000km, reflecting on these 4 words, playing scrabble with their letters and breathing into : all – who / roads – what / lead – how / home – where & when –
Creation #1 – What is Coming
In plain form: I am experimenting with a series of 5-7 “bite-sized” videos that each carry a varying take on “all roads lead home.” Each video incorporates elements of movement choreography, poetry, visual landscape, music and more.
In a time where millions of people are displaced from their homes while also being forced to “stay home”, this inquisition is geared towards various ways we come home to and within ourselves, through short, digestible, meditative tokens.
These tokens may be watched in any order, at any time, though if watched “back-to-back” there are threads connecting them, like a woven “story mosaic” or a labyrinth with many entrances that eventually all lead to the centre.
As an individual adopted out of traditional lineage, with some clarity of being on “a reclamation journey,” I’ve been reflecting on what that actually means. Some of the deepest wisdom I’ve received from Elders, mentors, meditative practices and science, is that everything we “need to know” is already and has always been stored within our own bodies. So how do we tap into that in moments, days or time spans when we feel lost or uncomfortable? Are there any access roads? Where do we begin?
and WHO is this person going off about roads!?
C’est moi! SNEEKY DOO (aka Sophie Dow) – a multidisciplinary creative, inspired by dance, music, collaboration and Métis-Assiniboine + settler roots. An avid adventurer, I love busking, yoga and traveling. At some point, I completed a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. In day-to-day life, you can find me fulfilling roles as a dancer, choreographer, musician, busker, wim hof devotee, thai massage practitioner, cranial-sacral therapy student, fire spinner, certified coffee master, plant and tea nut, breathwave enthusiast, tree climber, trail hiker, etc etc etc!
And WHY am I obsessed with the ROAD!?!
Who knows! It’s just so fascinating, quiet and loud all at the same time – a place of wondrous solace and sorrow at once – a centreline – a zone that carries you great distances without forcing to pick sides. Gets you from point A to point B. I’ve had the great honour of traveling Turtle Island from coast to coast multiple times, by train, bus, plane, boat, car and thumb. Sometimes living luxuriously in hotels, other times traveling with nothing but a backpack, hammock, tarp and guitar. Just like the water, the road has become a GREAT and ancient teacher and I look forward to sharing these most recent musings so soon!
Olivia C. Davies honors her mixed Anishinaabe heritage (Algonquin, Finnish, French-Canadian, Welsh) and creates across choreography, film, sound design and writing to traverse boundaries and challenge social prejudice, conveying concepts and narratives that open different ways to experience the world. Current projects include curation of Matriarchs Uprising Festival, Talking Truths Circle Conversations, and collaborations with Peppers Ghost Collective and with Moonseed Collective in hybrid VR/AR live performance events. Davies is the founding Artistic Director of O.Dela Arts. Her work has been presented across Canada in Ontario, Quebec, and BC since 2004. www.oliviacdavies.ca
It’s my great honor to be part of this edition of Shooting Gallery Performance Series as guest curator. When I first found out about the series, I was amazed by a program I witnessed that had been curated by Antonio Somera and how the space of 45 West was utterly transformed by the magic invoked by the artists sharing their work that evening. I left with my heart full and my head ringing with new vibrations that carried me out into the night. Fast forward to 2020 when I answered that season’s artist call and created the work “Xway Xway Swoon” with the help of Julie and her partner in one beautiful sunset evening filming. The generosity and encouragement of the SGPS team to experiment was what transported a seed of an idea into a dream vision that continues to carry ripples into my future. Now, as guest curator for the upcoming April 2022 series, it’s my pleasure to introduce a stunning array of fellow Indigenous artists from across Turtle Island who are connecting with each other and each of you through their ideas and creative acts. Watch over the next couple weeks as this particular weave of the SGPS tapestry is unveiled and you are introduced to each of these voices as we lead up to the presentations coming up April 6-9, 2022. Connecting across identity, land, bodies, and waters, these artists‘ works each carry fine threads of our collective humanity offered through an Indigenous worldview. Join us from the comfort of your home for these offerings and enjoy— ours is a blanket that will hold your heart and raise your vibration..
SGPS #11 Guest curated by Olivia C. Davies (Anishinaabe)
Digital performances that can be completed by April 3rd, 2022.
Livestream, video, interactive website, something else, you tell us!
Open to all forms of Contemporary and Neo-Traditional Indigenous storyweaving, dance, theatre, and/or hybrid performance art. This is an opportunity to explore ideas in the beginning stages of creation. Priority is given to new ideas, experimentation in movement and interdisciplinary performance, adventurous and interesting uses of digital platforms. The call is open to self-identified Indigenous artists based in Canada.
Deadline for applications: January 20th, 2022
Selected artists will receive a performance fee, curatorial / production support, and rehearsal space (based on availability).
To apply, please send a short bio or artistic statement, a brief description of the proposed piece including approximate length and two links to recent works to email@example.com with ‘Shooting Gallery Submission’ in the subject line.
Submissions are open to: -Indigenous artists at any stage of their career -works of any length
We provide: -artist fee -individualized production/documentation support -free rehearsal space (for artists based in Vancouver, BC) -promotional support and online presentation -mentorship if requested (not mandatory)
***Work must be interdisciplinary or experimental in nature
Curatorial criteria based on the quality of previous work, unique vision, a range of aesthetic viewpoints, and Indigenous artists whose work is underrepresented within the Canadian arts community.
In an abandoned lot, in small town Québec- close to the collective’s shared studio space – I meet with the founding members of Collectif P.S., Pet and Sauce, to talk about the debut of their new web series De la benne à l’assiette, which will see its debut at Shooting Gallery Performance Serie #10.
Together, under the guise of artists, members of the Collectif P.S. take part in activities that are not typically seen as socially acceptable in order to explore subjects that to many may be considered taboo. Their work often revolves around the idea of disguise: Is one taking on a persona during an artistic performance or is it not rather in these moments that we can be truer to ourselves, freer to live outside of societal expectations?
Inspired by artists such as Miranda July, Faith Ringgold and Olivier Chevrette, the collective has an eclectic way of creating and presenting stories through performances, installations, drawings and photo/video works. Through humour, puns, ‘Frenglish’, Lo-Fi aesthetics, GIFs, Memes and a web blog, P.S. uses the absurd to start conversations about waste abundance, social equity and the role of the consumer. As we talk, I have the feeling that I too may be playing the role of someone else.
INRI: Let’s get right into it, why create a web series of all things?
Sauce: We needed a new platform for our artistic projects. We had recently started playing around with internet-based art, more specifically an interactive blog. We had talked about doing performances with alternative selves and we wanted to incorporate the idea of creating another self that is only possible through the sort of anonymity that the digital world allows. For this reason we choose to use digital platforms as a medium in itself and not only as a way to diffuse video art.
Pet: Our identity as artists is important in the web series as the notion of identity is integral to our reflections about blurring the boundaries between art and life. We often question if it is not during an artist performance that we are most free to play our true selves.
Sauce: And of course we thought creating a web series would be fun.
INRI: Is that why you wear masks?
Pet: Yes. And we want to show how in a way everyone hides behind a certain kind of mask. Even more so when we are thinking of our lives with regards to technology. We hide behind our cell phones and computer screens while curating a version of ourselves to share with the rest of the world.
Sauce: We strive to dance on the line between acting anonymously and embracing who we are as we take part in these compromising acts. If not we would have created avatars and have zero IRL presences.
INRI: Compromising acts?!? Talk to me about the subject of this web series.
Sauce: It’s a cooking show.
INRI: Oook, what is particularly new or interesting about this cooking show?
Pet: All the food is found in the garbage.
INRI: That’s disgusting!
Pet: No, sincerely, it’s not. Until you see it, you can’t really imagine all the perfectly edible food, sometimes past the best before date but still good, often in the package and obviously thrown away because another shipment has come in. The part that is disgusting is seeing that we live in a culture of continual waste based on a capitalist system that benefits few and disrespects and harms most.
INRI: Right… Where does the garbage food come from? Sauce: It comes from dumpsters outside of restaurants and grocery stores mostly.
Rummaging through the trash is so much more sexy when called dumpster diving.
Gental Petals, set in stone hold lit columns of wax, pillars of light. Not Doric Iconic or Corinthian, no, more like the pilar that is the torch carried by reckless refusal and desperation. Through clenched teeth, taught jaws we guide the light through the motions of a dance, though motions of exchange. Innocence set aflame as Eyes, Feet, Knees and Elbow balance fire by bone and weight.
A collection of documented dreams, images and scores from the last year and a half of this project. Images / drawings by Francesca Frewer + myself.
The feeling of grief was total
I befriend a mycelial network from space that allows me to, with the touch of my hand, power a train. The befriending was more of a becoming. A scene in a dark spaceship with the network lit up allowing me to see all things all time and me, but the feeling of my comrades onboard being destroyed by the joining. Later on earth, people on the train are suspicious when they see me touch the windowsill and the train moves forward. Later, in the same dreamworld, I’m getting ready at a kind of residency with TC and NG, we’re going out for dinner or some kind of presenter event. T is practicing a song, her voice is beautiful. N and I are trying on outfits. Someone wants to take a photo of me and my husband, nameless (actually maybe Tom?) bland face kind of guy, I think it’s because he’s an alien/immortal. I take his hand for the photo op and something flakes off, I realize it’s the fake scab I’ve placed on his hand to make him seem more human like he gets injured. The mycelium has made us alien/immortal.
The evil mother meets me on jefferson avenue
she is recognizable by her daughters’ used piece of pizza
faces, melting. She knows what I have done and has done it too
my shame is seared by her pepperoni look.
We had popped those kids’ heads off like barbies,
rolled them around the artscape gibraltar point studio.
Christopher House enjoyed punting the baby blonde head of
my childhood friend before I noticed
the security cams and prayed
for annihilation before the leak could end my career.
Not so, 10 years later
lined up on the soccer field in uniforom
the admonishing daughters of pizza behold me
The sound of birds like a carpet of flowers. Not like, it was. Stunningly beautiful, resplendent, almost too much. Also crystalline. It meant something about how I was or am supposed to direct my energy towards what matters. (what matters)?
I’m at a wedding reception/some kind of conference and I’m yelling over the din for people to name (a la Don Hanlon Johnson) all the ways they’ve been told to control their bodies by parents, society, etc. I’m yelling maybe into a mic? “Sit up straight!” “Don’t Slouch!” “elbows off the table!” “Strong handshake”!. Nobody is listening.