Supercrawl is pleased to announce the unveiling of two large-scale public works of art now on display in downtown Hamilton. On October 28, 2021, Nitewaké:non, a work by artist Melissa General, was installed on the south facade of 118 James Street North. Only a few steps away, Mary Anne Barkhouse‘s Dominion was installed in a new location, on the south facade of 91 James Street North, on November 17, 2021. Each artwork, while distinct and complex, also relates to each other by the themes they address, including: relationships to each other, family, home and community, the land, water, plants, and the natural world, as well as history, identity, and language honouring memory inherently rooted in a place — empire, colonialism, and survival.
The artworks are presented as part of Supercrawl’s 2021 Visual & Public Art programming and will be on display for a year. Nitewaké:non is sponsored by the McMaster Museum of Art (MMA) and is presented in collaboration with the enawendewin/relationships project at the MMA, curated by William Kingfisher. Considering gardens as sites of learning and creation, enawendewin/relationships brings together contemporary artists who integrate Indigenous knowledge with practical concerns in the everyday. The multidisciplinary project is informed by themes including growing food as sovereignty, methods for contemporary living, and how our local is affected by global concerns. enawendewin/relationships is on view at the MMA and across sites in Hamilton through November 28, 2021. For more information, click here.
Detail of Nitewaké:non; image courtesy of the artist
Nitewaké:non, 2014, chromogenic print
Artist Statement: Nitewaké:non, “the place where I come from,” examines my relationship to land by exploring the history in my home, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. It is through this exploration on and with the land that I attempt to connect with and honour the memory inherently rooted in Six Nations Territory.
Biography: Melissa General is a Mohawk artist from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and received a Masters of Fine Arts degree from York University. She is a multidisciplinary artist working in photography, audio, video and installation. Her practice is focused on her home territory of Six Nations and the concepts of memory, language, and land. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Lamont Gallery, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Harbourfront Centre, Stride Gallery, Gallery 101, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography and has been included in the 2016 Contemporary Native Art Biennial in Montréal. She is a Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL – Indigenous Art Award laureate and was named as the 2018 Ontario Arts Council Indigenous Arts Award Emerging Artist Laureate. Melissa is a recipient of a 2021 Artist Prize from Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts.
Nitewaké:non was part of the MAWA-produced Resilience Project.
Image courtesy of the artist
Mary Anne Barkhouse
Dominion, 2011, inkjet print on Somerset paper
Artist Statement: Opening lines from the Book of Genesis set the stage for millenniums’ worth of misguided notions around authority by presuming, as it does, to offer humanity sweeping powers over everything that soars, scuttles, swims, slithers, climbs, gallops, hops, springs, ambles, digs, jumps, flutters or trots. Regardless, the numerous creatures found in air and sea, forest and fen, carry on. They are not oblivious to our actions, but they continue… despite our actions. Salvation, for the undomesticated, comes not through something magically bestowed by rhetorical fiction or fairy dust, but by their own agency. And Nature’s response to the passage from the Book of Genesis? ” … as if.”
Biography: Mary Anne Barkhouse was born in Vancouver, BC but has strong ties to both coasts as her mother is from the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation of Alert Bay, BC and her father is of German and British descent from Nova Scotia. She is a descendant of a long line of internationally recognized Northwest Coast artists that includes Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James. She graduated with Honours from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and has exhibited widely across Canada and the United States. As a result of personal and family experience with land and water stewardship, Barkhouse’s work examines ecological concerns and intersections of culture through the use of animal imagery. Inspired by issues surrounding empire and survival, Barkhouse creates installations that evoke consideration of the self as a response to history and environment. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Barkhouse’s work can be found in numerous collections such as the National Gallery of Canada, Remai Modern in Saskatoon and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta. In addition she has public art installations in many cities across Canada, most recently in ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞ Indigenous Art Park (Edmonton, AB), the Canadian Museum of History (Gatineau, QC), and Carleton University (Ottawa, ON). Barkhouse currently resides in the Haliburton Highlands of Ontario. maryannebarkhouse.ca
A not-for-profit arts organization situated within the traditional territories of the Erie, Chonnonton (Neutral), Wendat, Mississauga, and Haudenosaunee nations, Supercrawl is committed to honouring, showcasing and celebrating all varieties of creative work. Positioning local and emerging artists alongside significant provincial, national and international peers, the festival fosters and promotes arts and culture as well as the myriad benefits they provide.
Presented by TD Bank Group (TD) as part of the TD Ready Commitment to amplify diverse voices, Supercrawl is Hamilton’s premier multi-arts festival, fusing new and independent music with art installations, fashion, performance, literature, theatre, and artisanal craft. Supercrawl’s diverse multi-disciplinary program of sound, performance, visual and media arts is staged along a pedestrian-only creative corridor in the heart of downtown.
Since 2010, Supercrawl’s Visual Arts programming has showcased upwards of 100 artists and featured visual art installations in a variety of media. Supercrawl provides opportunities to local, regional and national artists and performers at both early and established stages of their practices. An annual call for submissions is issued to invite proposals from artists working in a variety of media, and art-lovers will also find roughly two dozen gallery spaces and artists’ studios in and around Supercrawl’s neighbourhood.
Supercrawl was shortlisted for a 2019 Ontario Tourism Award of Excellence for Tourism Event of the Year and 2017 Canadian Tourism Award for Event of the Year. The festival received the 2015 Ontario Tourism Award of Excellence for Tourism Event of the Year, and has been recognized as one of Festival and Events Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals/Events for six consecutive years (2015-2020). Supercrawl is a member organization of the Major International Festivals and Events Network of Ontario, the Canadian Music Live Association, and Festivals and Events Ontario.