Threads

November 18 - December 23

Meryl McMaster
Threads of Self

Opening Saturday November 18th from 3pm to 6pm

963 rue Rachel Est
Montréal QC H2J 2J4

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ABOUT THE SHOW   /  WORKS AVAILABLE   /  LINKS   / 


ABOUT THE SHOW

Meryl McMaster is an Ottawa based artist whose photographic work explores the tensions complicating our understanding of personal identity. Specifically, her recent bodies of work have explored the liminality of being betwixt her Indigenous (Plains Cree) and European (British/Dutch) cultures and the conflict found at the intersection of self-exploration and heritage.

Her distinct approach to photographic portraiture and self-portraiture incorporates the spontaneity of photography, the manual production of objects or sculptural garments that she creates in her studio and performance. In her works, these media form a mosaic that illustrates a journey of self-discovery as she explores how we construct our sense of self through lineage, history and culture.

The works within the exhibition Threads of Self are a selection of photographs from three bodies of work In-Between Worlds (2010-15), Wanderings (2015) and Bring me to this place (2017).

In-Between Worlds explores her experience of belonging to mixed-cultural heritages. In these images, she mixes and transforms her ancestral heritage while inserting her own body into visual spaces that reflected both the inspiration she experiences from remote, contemplative experiences in the Canadian wilderness as well as the concept of being ‘betwixt’.

Wanderings is a journey into the unknown and a contemplation on the limitations and possibilities of the self. Within this series, dreamlike experiences are linked by a red thread connecting her to the past. The past both inspires and restricts her wandering path; it is the past that informs us of who we are and who we might become. The wandering soul in each image is a metaphor for a life in which we discover things both new and different that contribute to experiences that may not immediately make sense, but eventually become clearer as we grow older.

Bring me to this place takes her atop Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump in Alberta, a historically and culturally important ancestral site. The image recognizes the erasure of key species in her ancestral ecosystem and their absence there today as a reminder of the broader impacts of colonization on human beings and their environment. She wants to bring specific awareness to the broad consequences of colonization and how the mentality of greed and/or lack of foresight is still impacting us today. Her work isn’t intended to resolve this dilemma but rather to create an opportunity for introspection and conversation. Each of us has a complicated relationship with the past, with gaps and biases, and it is important for her to expose and explore these gaps so that we may encounter our next moments better prepared.


WORKS

(click on images below for larger view, please ensure browser pop-up blockers are disabled)


In Between Worlds


Threads   Threads   Threads
Consanguinity
2010
digital chromogenic print
61 x 61 cm (24" x 24")
edition of 5
  Viage
2010
digital chromogenic print
61 x 61cm (24" x 24")
edition of 5
  Sentience
2010
digital chromogenic print
61 x 61cm (24" x 24")
edition of 5


Threads   Threads  
Tilsam
2015
digital chromogenic print
61 x 61 cm (24" x 24")
edition of 5
  Wings Calling Variation II
2010
digital chromogenic print
91.5 x 61 cm (36" x 24")
edition of 5
 


Wanderings


Threads   Threads   Threads
Avian Wanderer I
2015
Archival Pigment Print on Watercoulour Paper
50.75 x 76 cm (20" x 30")
edition of 3
  Phantom Silence
2015
Archival Pigment Print on Watercoulour Paper
45.75 x 157.5 cm (18" x 62")
edition of 3
  Desired Path
2015
Archival Pigment Print on Watercoulour Paper
50.75 x 114.25 cm (20" x 45")
edition of 3


Threads    
Weight of the Shadow
2015
Archival Pigment Print on Watercoulour Paper
76.25 x 114.25 cm (30" x 45")
edition of 3
 
 


Bring me to this place


Threads    
Bring me to this place
2017
photograph
152.5 x 101.5 cm (60" x 40")
edition of 3
 
 



LINKS

- Meryl McMaster's website
- Click here to download the artist's recent C.V.



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