(Alexa Hatanaka & Patrick Thompson)

Nature as Communities

Dalhousie Art Gallery, Group Exhibition, Halifax

May 3 - July 14

Diyan Achjadi, PA System & Embassy of Imagination (Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, and youth collaborators: David Pudlat, Moe Kelly, Christine Adamie, Nathan Adla, Lachaolasie Akesuk), Ayoka Junaid, Becoming Sensor (Ayelen Liberona and Natasha Myers, with sound composer Allison Cameron), Sandra Semchuk, Jay White and Jennifer Schine.

“Drawing from environmental justice theorist Giovanna di Chiro’s idea of nature as community, the exhibition points to artistic investigations into notions of nature, culture, and place from within Canada’s multiple geographies. In these works, Environment becomes environments: multiple and varied, and culturally, biotically, geographically, and epistemically situated. Knit together by the threads of a consciousness that recognizes the confluence of environment, sustainability, and social justice, Nature as Communities helps us to see the connections between climate and cultural change. Incorporating sound, video projections, and other means to re-populate emptied landscapes while exploring political ecologies of place, power, and responsibility, these works are an invitation to reflect on questions of accountability to both human and non-human generations of the future–as well as to those of the past and present.”

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Do you want to take the the short-cut or the long-cut?

Open Studio Gallery, Solo Exhibition, Toronto

May 17 - June 15

“PA System’s Do you want to take the short-cut or the long-cut? is part of an ongoing collection of works about land: human use and relationship to land, places of shared experience and memory, complex and conflicting societal relationships to resource exploitation and industry, ideas of development, commons, nations, rights, and the experience of snow and ice as land. The thinking behind the work has been percolating and mind-mapped over the past ten years, as personal understandings of cold, land, and ways of life have grown from cherished time spent in Inuit Nunangat (Inuit homeland in the Canadian arctic) creating collaborative and community art projects, primarily their ongoing project with Kinngait youth, Embassy of Imagination.

PA System’s work employs visual metaphor, for instance, adapting forms of ancient documents. They have used personally collected materials both raw and man-made, originating from the places that the work references, including iron ore mined from north Baffin Island.

Several works depict ephemeral wind-blown snow-forms that are both beautiful and a tool for navigation in the North. The varied processes involved in these works naturally have a strong visual connection: the fine ridges of layered 3D-printing, the detailed and linear carving for hand-printed linocut work, and the natural process of wind chiseling the original snow-forms. Depicting these snow-forms has intimate and broad meaning. It is a personal and tedious process that supports reminiscing, missing a place, preserving the elapsed moment. The work also reflects on the precarity of the climate and by extension the threat to mobility as it is tied to the ice and weather.”

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