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Through the eyes of Indigenous artists

As part of the exhibition Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures, the MMFA invited seven Indigenous artists from different nations and disciplines to share their perspectives on works at the heart of the exhibition.

With Guy Sioui Durand, sociologist, artist, art critic and independent curator.

Guy Sioui Durand, curator of this series, leads us on a fascinating exploration of the landscape of Riopelle’s artistic imaginings by drawing parallels between his works Point de rencontre – Quintette, Soleil de minuit (Quatuor en blanc) and L’étang – Hommage à Grey Owl and those of many Indigenous artworks.

Au regard d’un Wendat / Through the Eyes of a Wendat | Guy Sioui Durand
Au regard d’une Atikamekw Nehirowisiw / Through the Eyes of an Atikamekw Nehirowisiw

With Eruoma Awashish, artist.

Eruoma Awashish is drawn to the circular form of the work Soleil de minuit (Quatuor en blanc), seeing in it an expression of humans and other living creatures being on equal footing. This encounter has inspired her to use sheets of gold leaf that had belonged to Riopelle, which she received as a gift, to create aureoles illustrating the sanctity of life.

With Ivanie Aubin-Malo, professional dancer, choreographer and dance curator.

Two imaginary worlds reverberate off one another in this performative piece: that of choreographer and dancer Ivanie Aubin-Malo, with her free and organic movements; and that of Riopelle, whose portraits from the series Rois de Thulé call out from the confines of their frames on the exhibition’s walls.

Au regard d’une Wolastoq / Through the Eyes of a Wolastoq
Au regard d’une Inuk / Through the Eyes of an Inuk

With Ulivia Uviluk, artist.

For young Inuk artist Ulivia Uviluk, the painting L'esprit de la ficelle evokes the string games of her youth that are particular to her culture. Today, string is the inspiration behind myriad objects in her beadwork.

With Caroline Monnet, artist, and Sébastien Aubin, artist and designer.

The sculpture La Fontaine brings these two artists back to the land and the legends associated with it. For Caroline Monnet, the work reminds her of the Luskville Falls and images of Windigo embedded in the rocks, while for Sébastien Aubin, it is a likening of Lake Superior’s sleeping giant.

Au regard d'une Anishinaabe et d'un Cri / Through the Eyes of an Anishinaabe and a Cree
Au regard d'un Kanien'kehá:ka / Through the eyes of a Kanien'kehá:ka

With Martin Akwiranoron Loft, artist.

Martin Akwiranoron Loft believes that Riopelle’s L’alphabet de Thulé series is an homage to the land. Rooted in this same reverence for the land and the environment, his printing work expresses the interdependence between Indigenous cultures and our earth.

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