The Body Holds What It Knows



The Body Holds What It Knows

MAWA Foundation Mentorship Program 2016

Natalie Baird, Valérie Chartrand, Tracy Fehr, Carolyn Mount, Kelly Ruth, Kris Snowbird, Becca Taylor, Melanie Wesley

Looking at bodies as sites of knowledge, both personal and ancestral, the 2015-2016 Foundation Mentorship Program Showcase brings together works by eight emerging artists whose practices address overlapping ideas of ritual, materiality, and loss. What emerges is a series of mnemonic devices, ritual objects, and intimate gestures that confront questions of knowledge, memory, and forgetting.

Works in the exhibition combine a wide range of materials including video installation, interactive fibre, beadwork, ceramics, and photography. Through these media, the artists address questions that move fluidly between contexts, from the threat of disappearance of bees in Valérie Chartrand’s ghost beehives, to the experience of private mourning in Carolyn Mount’s fibre sculptures, or personal familial connection in Natalie Baird’s video installation. Many of the artists’ actions take on the form of repetitive ritual, combining the tactility of materials with the performative acts of remembering – Kelly Ruth and Melanie Wesley both employ traditional and contemporary fibre techniques in their sculptural works to address questions of personal experience and labour; Kristin Snowbird’s video installation narrates her experience of the sweat lodge ceremony, presented alongside stones encased in beads; Tracy Fehr’s ceramic vessels and tapestry sets up an altar that enshrines her relationship with domestic work and care; and Becca Taylor’s beaded medallion blanket is a testament to dozens of hands who have contributed to the labour of its creation. – Curatorial statement by Natalia Lebedinskaia


About the MAWA Foundation Mentorship Program

“Overall the MAWA mentorship program gave me the structure, motivation and support to establish a regular artistic practice. I learned new things, developed my work in new and unexpected directions and, through connections with mentors and talented peers, I gained the self-confidence and motivation to share my work with others.” Valérie Chartrand

The Foundation Mentorship Program (FMP) is a yearlong program in which established artists share their experience and expertise with developing artists in a peer-support learning environment. It is designed to help women in the visual arts develop skills and define their decision-making philosophies, and to provide access to the information, resources and support they need to realize their goals and build their practices.

MAWA contact: Sylvia Dreaver                                                             Artist contact: Carolyn Mount

T: 204 949 9490                                                                                       T: 204 599 0866

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