Re/translation: Land & Language

Rebecca Baird, Peter Morin, Jude Norris, Arthur Renwick, Daryl James Bucar

A Space Main Gallery

October 19 – November 23, 2007

Curated by: Michelle LaVallee

Supported by: Canada Council for the Arts Assistance to Aboriginal Curators for Residencies in the Visual Arts Program, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, ANDPVA, 7th GEN

A Space Gallery is pleased to present Re/translation: Land & Language. This exhibition is curated by Michelle LaVallee featuring new & recent work by artists Rebecca Baird, Peter Morin, Jude Norris and Arthur Renwick in the Main Space Gallery.

The artists in Re/translation: Land & Language contemplate language, narrative, history and translation. Informed by the past and engaged in the present, this cultural investigation, awareness and acceptance bring attention to contrasting cultural paradigms, worldviews and cultural teachings.

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Open Studio Gallery and the exhibit Re/translation: Block & Board. In this exhibition Luke Parnell, Angela Sterritt and Tania Willard examine history, myth and resistance in relation to daily existence while examining how we are influenced by worldview and cultural systems.

The importance and relevance of maintaining connection to language, land, culture and community is revealed through the work of these artists. They identify and affirm an indigenous presence that is in constant transition, and acknowledge the strength and resilience of First Peoples despite daily and historical realities. The exhibits and artists honour the history, stories and words of our ancestors. The work of these artists is grounded in this land that we now call Canada. Their work reflects a First Nations perspective and how this engages with the contemporary world. The exhibitions contemplate how these artists are establishing their connection to this place and acknowledging this collective history.

Showing concurrently, Daryl James Bucar will be exhibited in the A Space WINDOWS. In addition, the A Space INNER SPACE gallery will feature the work of emerging youth artists.

A Space Gallery gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts in the support of curator Michelle LaVallee through the Assistance to Aboriginal Curators for Residencies in the Visual Arts Program. Ms. LaVallee would also like to gratefully acknowledge the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation for their support which made possible the youth workshop and exhibition. Thank you to ANDPVA and 7th GEN for their contributions towards the artist/curator panel.

A Space Gallery Windows Daryl James Bucar

Daryl James Bucar’s work is direct and accessible. When asked what drives his choice of media and his artistic style, he refers to his childhood and the unself-conscious mark-making that children produce. Working with the aesthetic of naivete and rawness, Bucar works primarily in oil pastel and oil stick, applying these materials to matte board or recycled surfaces such as cardboard. However, Bucar’s apparently innocent uses of bright, bold and engaging colours belie the dark subject material he depicts: he explores issues of acculturation, injustice, and the commodification and destruction of land, peoples, and cultures. Sarcastic and biting, he questions what he sees as the smug, safe, and complacent attitude of contemporary society. His incorporation of text within his artwork further underlines his cynicism toward the possibilities of the English language, which he asserts is “at its core, patriarchal and capitalist.” By engaging with spelling, form, and punctuation, he combats what he asserts is a colonizing tool: the written English language.

A Space Inner Space Re/translation Youth Workshop:Relief Prints

Mentorship, and situations where youth may work alongside professionals, is often a key element in supporting the growth of a field. Recognizing this, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation funded a workshop that focused on aboriginal experiences with language and culture as expressed through the media of relief prints. Open Studio contributed production space and A Space Gallery provided exhibition space. The workshop paired youth with experienced art professionals. The artworks produced by these young artists are on exhibit as part of Re/Translation: Land and Language. Making links between culture and language were encouraged during the workshop, with the aim of celebrating aboriginal culture and broadening awareness, understanding, and appreciation of aboriginal culture through the visual arts.


Rebecca Baird, born in Edmonton, Alberta, currently lives and works in Toronto. Baird’s antecedents include Stony Mountain Cree. She has received a number of significant awards and grants, has exhibited extensively in Canada and abroad, including in the major national group exhibition Indigena at the Canadian Museum of Civiliaztion, and can be found in the collections of many galleries and institutions across Canada. She is a founding member of the Tecumseh and Sweetgrass Collectives & co-organizer of the five 3 day festivals.

Peter Morin is of the Crow clan of the Tahltan Nation of Telegraph Creek, BC. He currently resides in Victoria, BC. Peter spent 4 years working with Redwire Magazine, as a community educator and advocate for First Nations youth, through media, writing and art. He is a graduate of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

Jude Norris is a multi-disciplinary Cree-Metis artist, who lives in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited in numerous festivals and galleries across Canada and internationally. Jude is a recent recipient of a Chalmer’s Arts Fellowship, and has received awards from the Canada Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

Arthur Renwick is an artist, musician and professor who lives and works in Toronto. Renwick is from the Haisla First Nation in Kitamaat BC. He received his MFA from Concordia University, Montreal. His artwork has been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions at public galleries and museums nationally and internationally, and is represented in many private and public collections. In 2005 he won the K.M. Hunter Artist Award.

Daryl James Bucar is an Anishnabe artist from michigiwaadinong manidoo mnis who presently resides in Toronto. He has shown in various galleries in Ontario and has been featured in Redwire magazine and the Community Arts Ontario magazine. He has been a student of college, university and the street. He is a poet, musician, artist and resister

Michelle LaVallee is a practicing interdisciplinary artist and a community arts based educator and curator. LaVallee is of Ojibway ancestry, and a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Band, Cape Croker, Ontario. Born in Newmarket, Ontario she currently resides in Toronto. Recent recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Assistance to Aboriginal Curators Grant for Residencies in the Visual Arts, LaVallee has guest curated at the Canadian Clay and Glass Museum in Waterloo and has curated several exhibits for ANDPVA (Association for Native Development in the Visual and Performing Arts) including at Toronto City Hall and the Canadian Aboriginal Festival Pow Wow at Rogers Centre in Toronto. LaVallee holds a BFA and BEd from York University, Toronto.