October 13 – December 9, 2018
Opening reception: Saturday, October 13, 1pm
This three-person exhibition focuses on personal and investigative responses to Castor canadiensis, Canada’s official national animal symbol.
Francis Muscat lives and works in Sunderland, Ontario. He has recently dovetailed his studio practice to collaborate with resident mammals who share his living space. Muscat writes: “The peripatetic beaver decided to make my pond one of his homes. This was an invitation for me to react, comment and eventually take action. The similarity in which the trees fell intrigued me, the way the wood fibers were violently pulled apart spoke to me. Initially I felt I needed to respond to the destruction. There was anger and sadness. This resulted in making comments about this destruction. This work deals with my interest in interacting with my environment.”
Image: Francis Muscat, Flower 1, (detail), carved willow and mixed media, 2013.
Originally from Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation (Ojibwa), Frank Shebageget is known for iconographic works rooted in personal history, a critique of colonialist assumptions, and a nuanced understanding of modernism.
Focusing on symbols with both Aboriginal and general Canadian significance—such as family dwellings, beaver lodges and bush planes—his work explores the tension between grand narratives of socio-economic development and more marginal narratives of personal livelihood and sacrifice.
Image: Frank Shebageget, Untitled – Studies, glass bottle, 2018.
Ottawa-based artist Anna Williams explores a link between human beings and the natural world. Her offering to this exhibition is a unique installation pertaining to an industrious rodent and their dwellings. She states: “Canada House offers the viewer a moment of pause to investigate what we have lost in our passage from nature to culture, and the perceived notion of permanence in contemporary society. This installation is comprised of three life-sized cast bronze beavers constructing a beaver lodge made out of 800 individually cast clear resin tree branches.”
Image: Anna Williams, Canada House, cast bronze beavers with cast clear resin tree branches, 2017.