The exhibit, "ᐊᐧᐃᐧᓯᐦᒋᑲᐣ wawisihcikan - adornment" takes a look at adornment through an Indigenous perspective. There are guides available in the library so you can learn more about the individual artists and works.
Every guide comes comes with an educational section, great for teachers and home-school families.
The meaning of adornment according to the dictionary states the use of item(s) that decorate, embellish, enhance, beautify, or enrich. It could be said adornment is the finishing touch that distinguishes the wearer. Adornment from an Indigenous perspective goes beyond the items’ beauty. It is an artistic expression that conveys many levels of communication. It makes connection to a spiritual foundation, the importance to land and place, and defines inherent culture.
Early adornment provides a sense of knowledge about our ancestors that reflect the natural world in which they lived. The seasonal round of birth and rebirth shape our world view in a circulatory way as everything is interdependent. Spirituality has been the foundation for Indigenous peoples’ lives and an ‘intrinsic quality of creative activity.’ These artistic expressions were woven into the fabric of daily life. ‘Artifacts were generally created as items to be used, not as ‘art’. Bags, pouches, along with awl and knife sheaths were functional yet beautifully decorated’.
This exhibition was curated by MJ Belcourt and organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program. The AFA TREX program is financially supported by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.