Art Gallery of Sudbury | Galerie d'art de Sudbury
251 rue John Street
Drawing inspiration from multiple facets of his Anishinaabe (Odawa) culture, artist Barry Ace creates objects and imagery that utilize many traditional forms and motifs. He then disrupts the reading of these works with the introduction of other elements and technology, endeavouring to create a convergence of the historical and the contemporary. He is a band member of M’Chigeeng First Nation, Manitoulin Island (Ontario), currently residing in Ottawa (Ontario), and he is represented by Kinsman Robinson Galleries in Yorkville (Toronto). Nayaano-nibiimaang Gichigamiin: The Five Great Lakes presents a brand new series of Anishinaabe honouring blankets with mnemonic recounting blanket strips for each of the Five Great Lakes: the territory and homeland of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples). This textile work replicates traditional Great Lakes’ floral and geometric motifs, but they are made from reclaimed and salvaged electronic circuitry (capacitors, microchips, resistors, and diodes) that act as metaphors for cultural continuity (the antithesis of stasis), bridging the past with the present and the future. The Hudson Bay trade blankets carry with them a longstanding narrative and response to colonization; acts of self-determination and complicated economic trade history between the original peoples of the Great Lakes and newly arrived settlers, but these blankets also carry with them significant culture-based signs and semiotics. This body of work explores these aspects of the trade blanket.