White Swan, Jeneen Frei Njootli, 2013

Material Experiments

Lance Belanger, Michael Belmore, Wally Dion, Maria Hupfield, Madeskimo a.k.a. Geronimo Inutiq, Kevin McKenzie, Shirley Moorhouse, Jeneen Frei Njootli

A Space Main Gallery

September 25 – October 31, 2015

Curated by: Danielle Printup

Curator Talk during the reception, Friday, October 16th, 5:30-7:30

Presented by A Space Gallery and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. In Partnership with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Co-Presented by Aboriginal Curatorial Collective.

Innovation. Adaptation. Experimentation.

These concepts have been inherent in Indigenous worldviews since beyond memory or record. Indigenous cultures have been able to move through time and space with the adaptation of new materials encountered through land migration and colonization. These encounters presented Indigenous peoples with different ways of thinking and creating. The inspired experimentation resulted in advanced forms that portrayed the dynamic and ever-evolving cultures of Turtle Island (North America). Material Experiments explores these forms through selected works of art that are housed at the Aboriginal Art Centre (ACC) at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in Gatineau, Quebec. The artists presented in this exhibition have challenged themselves by utilizing new materials, techniques and processes. Through this experimentation these artists have created innovative and thought-provoking works that demonstrate that Indigenous art is not static, but evolves and continues to adapt with its people.


Wally Dion (Salteaux) is a visual artist living and working in Binghamton, New York. He is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation. Throughout much of his career, Dion’s work has contributed to a broad conversation in the art world about identity and power, and can be interpreted as part of a much larger pan-American struggle by Indigenous peoples to be recognized culturally, economically and politically by settler societies.

Maria Hupfield is a conceptual artist working in sculpture, installation and performance. From the Martin Clan of Wasauksing First Nation, Hupfield is an art educator and community arts and culture programmer living in Toronto, where she bases her art practice. She currently teaches part time at the University of Toronto. Hupfield has a MFA in Sculpture from York University and an Honours BA Specialist in Art and Art History from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. Her work has recently shown in New York City, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.

Madeskimo, a.k.a. Geronimo Inutiq, is an Inuk electronic artist, music producer and DJ. His practice draws on the use of instruments, digital and analogue synthesizers, as well as the remixing and processing of samples from a large variety of sources, including traditional Inuit, Aboriginal, modern electronic and urban music, in order to create an experimental platform. His multimedia works have been shown in group exhibitions across Canada and internationally.

Kevin McKenzie is a Cree/Metis artist from Regina, Saskatchewan. In 2003 he produced a series of buffalo skulls cast in polyurethane resin that received international attention. Kevin is currently living and working in Regina, where his multidisciplined art practice is constantly evolving.

Shirley Moorhouse (Inuk) is a visual artist from Happy Valley — Goose Bay, Labrador. In her paintings, drawings, wall hangings and installation art she explores boundaries, both real and imagined, on the flexibility and strength of women and family, the environment and citizenship. Her textile works often combine traditional techniques (embroidery, beadwork and tufting) and materials with more contemporary found objects.

Jeneen Frei Njootli is a Vuntut Gwitchin artist, currently pursuing her Master’s of Fine Art as an uninvited guest on unceded Musqueam territory at the University of British Columbia. Her work has exhibited in galleries, casinos, bars, the bush, cultural centres and museums internationally.

Danielle Printup is an Algonquin and Onondaga curator from Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg. She received a Bachelor of Honours with a major in Art History from the University of Guelph in 2012. Danielle interned at the National Gallery of Canada before completing the Aboriginal Training Program in Museum Practices at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec. Danielle has worked at Galerie SAW Gallery and is a member of the Available Light Screening Collective. She is currently based in Ottawa and works at the Aboriginal Art Centre.