Guest Curators: Miriam Jordan-Haladyn (Oneida) and Julian Jason Haladyn

This two-person exhibition brings into dialogue the work of the Australian Aboriginal artist Yhonnie Scarce (Kokatha and Nukunu peoples) and the Canadian First Nations artist Michael Belmore (Ojibway). Working primarily in glass, Scarce makes visible the oppressive histories of Aboriginal peoples in Australia, examining relations between human bodies and the land. Through his deliberate use of materials, especially metal and stone, Belmore’s work similarly embodies Indigenous knowledge, material realities of the land, and the experience of living in relation to its sense of time.

Both artists explore notions of being in the world that express parallel histories of repression, colonial practices that set out to dehumanize. Ways of Being looks at the artistic practices of Scarce and Belmore as they critically celebrate Indigenous ways of knowing the world, which represent a valuable potential for rethinking our world in a time of global crisis.

Ways of Being is guest curated by Miriam Jordan-Haladyn (Oneida) and Julian Jason Haladyn. Both are academics, writers, and curators based in London.

Artist bios:

Yhonnie Scarce is an Australian Aboriginal artist who belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. She majored in glass at the South Australian School of Art, Adelaide, and completed a Master of Fine Art (Research) at Monash University, Melbourne, in 2010. Her hand-blown glass objects often reference the ongoing effects of colonization on Aboriginal people, and comment on the social and political mores of historical and contemporary Australia in regards to this colonization.

Michael Belmore is an Ojibway artist and member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He holds an associated diploma (1994) in sculpture/installation from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. He currently lives in Ottawa, working in a variety of media including plastics, metal, wood, and stone. These materials are important to understanding his work, bringing into account how we view nature as a commodity.

Image: Yhonnie Scarce, Hollowing Earth, 2017, blown and hot-formed uranium glass. Image Courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY. Photograph by Janelle Low.