Carleton University Art Gallery CUAG

Upcoming Exhibitions

Always Vessels

Curated by Alexandra Nahwegahbow

11 September – 12 November 2017

Presenting work by Barry Ace, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Carrie Hill, Nadya Kwandibens, Jean Marshall, Pinock Smith, Natasha Smoke Santiago, Sam Thomas and Olivia Whetung,
Today, many contemporary Indigenous artists are investigating and incorporating traditional modes of making in their practices. This exhibition explores contexts for, processes of learning, making and the transfer and continuity of knowledge. By acknowledging artists’ desire and need to learn customary skills and techniques that in the past were met with resistance or repressed, this exhibition explores the different ways makers are seeking out and uniquely applying this knowledge.
This exhibition features nine contemporary Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee artists who draw from multiple forms of training, and whose media and subjects range widely – from glass beads to photography, and from language to land. Yet their processes remain primarily informed by the contemporary translation of traditional knowledge as material and embodied practice. Their works offer insights into the tremendous range of skills and techniques unique to the Anishinaabek and the Haudenosaunee and the ways that knowledge, in its tangible and intangible forms, can at once embody, carry and hold meaning.
As Native people, when we think about our belongings—things made by our hands, minds and voices—whether they are found in an exhibition, a book, in museum storage, out on the land or in a family member’s living room, we’re never really just thinking about them as things. They are, rather, meaningful objects, songs and stories that have the ability to carry, hold and transmit memory across time and space. Metaphorically, they are always vessels.

Animate: Diyan Achjadi and Alisi Telengut

Curated by Alice Ming Wai Jim

11 September – 12 November 2017

This exhibition examines interconnections between colonialism, climate change and agential forces of the natural world through the work of two Canadian artists.

Jakarta-born Achadi presents drawings and prints that examine historical engravings and surface ornamentation to reveal cross-cultural influences on Indonesia through trade, Dutch colonization and migration. Batik designs, wallpaper patterns (as in Java Toile) and stylized Chinese clouds populate the hybridized layouts. Culled from eighteenth-century European hunting manuals, images of exotic animals imported from Africa and Asia—rhinoceros, elephants, tigers—in Fragmentary Creature fuse with legendary beasts and spirits from the archipelago’s complex syncretic system of local cosmological and religious thought. Meanwhile Drift examines the interconnection of numerous environmental problems including rapid deforestation, monoculture plantations, the destruction of wildlife biodiversity, the spread of disease, carbon overload and global warming.

Mongolian-born Alisi Telegut’s hand-painted films perform an experimental ethnography of Mongolia’s ethnic groups, many who are losing their nomadic way of life as the grasslands dry up. Nutag (Homeland) is a requiem for the Kalmyk people, a Mongolian nomadic tribe and one of fourteen Turko-Mongolian nations that Stalin deported to Siberia during WWII. In Tears of Inge, a mother camel, weak from hunger because of drought, rejects her calf after a difficult delivery. It is only when the animistic and shamanistic nomads perform a coaxing, ritual song that the mother tends to her newborn. The natural world is an inexorably bounded, animated environment, and art plays an agential role in it.

Annie Thibault: La Chambre des cultures, collaboration souterraine

Curated by Heather Anderson

11 September – 12 November 2017

Returning to the lab as a site for artistic research and experimentation, Annie Thibault is artist-in-residence in a pilot project hosted by CUAG and the Department of Biology. With the collaboration of Dr. Myron Smith, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, Thibault is growing Armillaria fungi. Where Thibault has worked previously with mushrooms—the fruiting bodies of fungi—in this project she cultivates the organism’s fascinating underground mycelium network through which it shares information and nutrients. Continuing her work in drawing, video and installation, Thibault will work with this living organism as agent and material.


Curated by Josie Arruejo, Chelsea Black, James Botte, Brigid Christison, Michelle Jackson and Sharon Odell

In collaboration with Dr. Cindy Stelmackowich

11 September – 12 November 2017

So, what is a “herbarium?” and why is she the focus?

A herbarium is a collection of dried and preserved pressed plants or fungi that are stored, catalogued and arranged systematically for study.

In highlighting the “her” within HERbarium, this exhibition focuses on the highly skilled and too widely unknown women who contributed to the collection, identification, illustration, production and distribution of early scientific knowledge within the field of botany in Canada.

Because of the accessible nature of botany close to home, and a national pursuit and desire to see, describe and classify flora and fauna species that were distinct from Europe within a then-young Canada, botany was the first natural science formally practiced by Canadian women.

With examples of path-breaking contributions by Catharine Parr Traill, Lady Dalhousie, Faith Fyles, Dr. Irene Mounce and Dr. Mildred Nobles, this exhibition looks back at an important and underrepresented history. It also includes a copy of the “Privy Council Letter, 1920 – Women, Marriage, Employment” which outlines the federal policy in effect until 1955 that prohibited a woman upon marriage from continuing her career as a federal employee. The exhibition also looks forward at the continuing need to encourage women to pursue careers in science, where they face ongoing discrimination on the basis of intersections of gender, race, sexuality, dis/ability and class.

This exhibition has been developed for the Carleton Curatorial Laboratory in collaboration with Dr. Cindy Stelmackowich as part of her seminar “Representations of Women’s Scientific Contributions” offered through the Pauline Jewitt Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies at Carleton University.