Off-Centre is a survey of artworks by queer artists from the Canadian Prairies. The exhibition title describes how this central region is often thought to be in the cultural and political margins. It also speaks to the experience of being queer – particularly in smaller communities.
This group exhibition brings togethers artists who work in collaboration with nature and rely on natural processes to make their work. The selected artists generate conditions where at various points during their artwork’s creation, the pieces begin to develop according to the laws of nature without artist intervention. The Experiment reminds viewers of the existence of entities that are larger and more powerful then human forces, encouraging closer consideration of the natural world.
In his recent paintings, Saulteaux and Cree artist Keith Bird honours Indigenous leaders and warriors of past and present, recognizing historical leaders such as Crazy Horse, Pound Maker, Geronimo, Chief Piapot and many others. Through Spiritual Veterans, Bird sheds light on the spirituality, strength and resilience of Indigenous veterans who have fought and continue to fight to protect land, culture and human dignity.
Keith Bird was raised on Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan. He received a BFA from the University of Regina in 2008, followed by an MFA in 2013. His work is both privately and publicly collected.
The artist would like to thank the Saskatchewan Arts Board for the generous support of this project.
We want a potential that is wide and ebullient, luminous and spacious, quivering with the hues of a waning day. We like the kind assurance of the exiting sun, a finale to another day lived, ushering in the sweetness of night that falls like a blanket. We’d like a promise of perfect sunsets.
Whether the relationships are close, strained, or absent, being parented (or disconnected from caregivers) is a universal experience. Are You My Mother? considers what is shared about the experience of being raised, while underscoring the less universal, more specific circumstances that shape how we feel about our caregivers – feelings of warmth and love, and in the case of grief, loss and gratitude.