Naadohbii: To Draw Water SymposiumTurtle Island-Aotearoa-Australia
The Water Symposium is part of the inaugural Winnipeg Indigenous Triennial, Naadohbii: To Draw Water, presented by BMO Financial Group. The symposium will take place virtually with Indigenous voices from Turtle Island, Aotearoa and Australia discussing environmental, political and cultural traditions and interconnected relationships to water.
Join artists, curators, activists, and water defenders as they discuss the power of water during artist talks, curator panels, film screenings, and performances.
Zoom links & more info coming soon!
RSVP for Naadohbii: To Draw Water Symposium
Thursday, Feb 3
4 pm CST | Opening Welcomes & Ceremony with Knowledge Keepers Erica Daniels and Ivy Canard
5 pm CST | Representing Water in Global Context: The Axis of Solidarity with curators, Jaimie Isaac, Kimbereley Moulton, Reuben Friend, Ioana Gordon Smith, Jocelyn Piirainen
6 pm CST | Keynote (Australia)
7 pm CST | Film Program & Discussion with Decolonizing Lens (1hr 30min)
Films: Mni Wiconi: Mitakuyelo, directed by Victoria Anderson-Gardner; The Pakohe Trails, directed by Keelan Walker; Washday, directed by Kath Akuhata-Brown; Warburdar Bununu: Water Shield, directed by Jason De Santolo
Following the screening, filmmakers Victoria Anderson-Gardner (Mni Wiconi: Mitakuyelo), Keelan Walker (The Pakohe Trails), Kath Akuhata-Brown (Washday), and tentatively Jason De Santolo (Warburdar Bununu: Water Shield), will discuss the themes within their works (45min).
Friday, Feb 4
3 pm CST | Panel: Naadohbii: Manitoba Community Context with Daniel Gladu Kanu and Dimple Roy
4 pm CST | Panel: Poetry from the Catalogue with Tony Birch and Kat Vermette
5 pm CST | Keynote by Tina Ngata (Aotearoa – New Zealand)
6 pm CST | Performance
Saturday, Feb 5
11am CST | Keynote by Aimee Craft (Turtle Island – North America)
12-4pm CST | Artists In Dialogue
- 12pm | Water Sovereignty: Between Treaty and the Complexity of the Indigenous / Settler Relationships and Tensions between Industry and the Environment with Marianne Nicolson, Nova Paul and James Tylor
- 1pm | Land Defenders Land Protectors with Nici Cumpston, Rachael Rakena and Victoria Redsun
- 2pm | Cultural Buoyancy with asinnajaq and Kevin Brownlee
- 3pm | The Spirit of Water, Water as Kin, Water at Medicine with Israel Birch and Nikau Hinden
- 4pm Carriers of Water: Matriarch Knowledge with Elisa Jane (Leecee) Carmichael and Maria Hupfield
5pm CST | Closing Thanks
I am a Ngati Porou mother of two from the East Coast of Te Ika a Maui. My work involves advocacy for environmental, Indigenous and human rights. This includes local, national and international initiatives that highlight the role of settler colonialism in issues such as climate change and waste pollution, and promote Indigenous conservation as best practice for a globally sustainable future.
Nici Cumpston is a proud Barkandji artist, curator and educator; whose family are also of Afghan, Irish and English descent. Barkandji are the River people who belong to the Barka, the Darling River in far western New South Wales, Australia.
Having studied fine arts, specializing in Photography at the University of South Australia she has worked as a photographic lecturer at Tauondi Aboriginal Community College, Port Adelaide, as well as at the University of South Australia. She wrote and delivered the inaugural Indigenous Art, Culture and Design course to the South Australian School of Art students before commencing as the first Aboriginal Curator at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 2008.
Cumpston is currently the Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia and since 2014 has also been the Artistic Director of Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. An annual statewide festival featuring artists from across the country, with an annual Art Fair and a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
She has been exhibiting her works of art since 1998 and in that time has been invited to participate in many prestigious awards, group and solo exhibitions. She exhibits regularly and her work is held in major institutions and private collections nationally and internationally. Cumpston grew up in Manitoba and is thrilled to have an opportunity after all this time, to share cultural family stories from the Barka with everyone there.
Israel Birch holds a visual arts degree from the Eastern Institute of Technology, Ahuriri/Napier, and a Masters in Māori Visual Arts from Massey University’s Toioho ki Āpiti, Te Papa-i-Oea/Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Birch’s primary practice is contemporary whakairo-carving made through a process of etching, grinding, and shaping stainless steel. He uses pattern and repetition to engage with light, shape and form. Through this work, he acknowledges the influence of whakairo (carving), the relationship between Te Ao Mārama (the world of light) and Te Pō (the perpetual night), issues of the environment and our relationship to the landscape, and the intangible aspects of te ao Māori (the Māori world).
James Tylor is an Australian multi-disciplinary contemporary visual artist. He was born in Mildura, Victoria. He spent his childhood in Menindee in far west New South Wales, and then moved to Kununurra and Derby in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in his adolescent years. From 2003 to 2008, James trained and worked as a carpenter in Australia and Denmark. In 2011 he completed a bachelor of Visual Arts (Photography) at the South Australian School of Art in Adelaide and in 2012 he completed Honours in Fine Arts (Photography) at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart. He returned to Adelaide in 2013 and completed a Masters in Visual Arts and Design (Photography) at the South Australian School of Art. Since completing his tertiary education he has researched Indigenous and European colonial history with a focus on South Australia. He is an experienced writer, designer, curator, historian, researcher, art gallery installation and museum collection conservator. James currently works as a professional visual artist in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory.
Tylor is a multi-disciplinary visual artist whose practice explores Australian environment, culture and social history. These mediums include photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, sound, scents and food. He explores Australian cultural representations through the perspectives of his multicultural heritage that comprises Nunga (Kaurna), Māori (Te Arawa) and European (English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch and Norwegian) ancestry. Tylor’s work focuses largely on the history of 19th century Australia and its continual effect on present day issues surrounding cultural identity and the environment. His research, writing and artistic practice has focused most specifically on Kaurna indigenous culture from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia and more broadly European colonial history in Southern Australia. His practice also explores Australian indigenous plants and the environmental landscape of Southern Australia.
James’ artistic practice specializes in experimental and historical photographic processes. He uses a hybrid of analogue and digital photographic techniques to create contemporary artworks that reference Australian society and history. The processes he employs are the physical manipulation of digital photographic printing, such as the manual hand-colouring of digital prints or the application of physical interventions to the surfaces of digital prints. James also uses the historical 19th century photographic process of the Becquerel Daguerreotype with the aid of modern technology to create new and contemporary Daguerreotypes. Photography was historically used to document Aboriginal culture and the European colonization of Australia. James is interested in these unique photographic processes to re-contextualize the representation of Australian society and history.
Regina Pilawuk Wilson
Born 1948 in the Daly River region, Northern Territory, Australia.
Lives and works in Peppimenarti, Northern Territory, Australia.
Regina Pilawuk Wilson is a Ngan’gikurrungurr woman. Her work is exhibited widely, and is housed in public and private collections both in Australia and internationally. She is regarded as one of Australia’s leading Indigenous artists, and is the founder of the Peppimenarti community – the permanent settlement for the Ngan’gikurrungurr people in the Daly River Region since 1973.
The location of Peppimenarti is an important dreaming site for the Ngangikurrungurr language group and informs Regina’s art and weaving practices – skills she inherited from her grandmother and mother. After attending the Contemporary Art Biennale (Pacific Arts Festival) in 2000, Regina decided to add acrylic painting to her repertoire. Regina experimented with various painting techniques and designs during workshops held by the Darwin gallerist Karen Brown. During this time, she started to transfer her weaving designs and patterns into canvas, including syaw (fish-net), wupun (basket), string bags, wall mats and sun mats.
Regina won the General Painting category of the Telstra National Indigenous and Torres-Strait Islander Award in 2003 for a golden syaw (fish-net) painting. The cultural significance of ‘message sticks’ are also celebrated in her paintings– a traditional form of communication between communities. This is her story of the message stick (with assistance by Peppimenarti elder Captain Wodij):
When we were young we used to live at Daly River and his mob used to live at Uban, near Timber Creek.
There was no road, no anything.
They used to carry message sticks
They used to come to Daly River from Uban.
For weeks they used to travel.
They carried message sticks to remember how many days they travel to that certain place.
It was like first Aboriginal education… just to remember how many days to travel from a certain place to Daly.
They used to travel from here to Beswick too.
Even in flood waters.
They used to swim creeks and rivers to get to a place for ceremony.
This was before WWII.
They were really young men. I remember they used to come.
When the war started they moved back to Uban.
They used to walk long way, no motor car.
They used to join up at Moyle River to fight different clans.
They used to swim in the sea, no boat and less crocodiles.
Also by bringing the message stick they would bring people back with them… they would all walk together, sometimes for one year. Sometimes stay in one place for camp: big mob food, turtle, yam, fish.
They would walk slowly, those old people.
And children too, and babies. They’d have the babies half way. We used to have bush nurses who would cut the cord with a mussel shell.
They used to take message stick to boss man of a language group. If Boss says yes, they’d all move.
If a mob went to another country for burning grass, the leader would get angry and a message stick would follow. Then there would be war.
If a man went off with message stick and didn’t return, they think big trouble. A different clan would go and steal another man’s wife.
Message stick is for war and ceremony and things like that.
That message stick means a lot.
Maria Hupfield is a transdisciplinary artist and maker working with Industrial felt at the intersection of performance art, design and sculpture. She is an inaugural 2020-2022 Borderlands Fellow with her fellowship project Breaking Protocol at the Vera List Center, New School, and the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and was awarded the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Canadian mid-career artist. Hupfield is a Guest Curator for the Artists of Color Council, Movement Research at Judson Church, and the New Jersey Art Center with exhibitions opening 2021 and 2022. Her solo Nine Years Towards The Sun at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, (2019) focused on exhibiting performance as living culture and follows The One Who Keeps on Giving her first major institutional traveling solo exhibition in Canada, a production of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto. Her work has shown in New York at the Museum of Arts and Design, BRIC, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, represented Canada at SITE Santa Fe (2016) and traveled nationally in Canada with Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (2012-14); with recent performances at the National Gallery of Canada. Hupfield belongs to and is an off-rez Anishnaabek belonging to Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, Canada, and is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Performance and Media, Canadian Research Chair in Transdisciplinary Indigenous Arts, and Director / Lead Artist of the Indigenous Creation Studio at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada.
Marianne Nicolson is an artist activist of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations. The Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw Nations are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwak’wala speaking peoples) of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She is trained in both traditional Kwakwaka’wakw forms and culture and contemporary gallery and museum-based practice. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1996), a Master of Fine Arts (2000) from the University of Victoria, as well as a Master of Arts (2005) in Linguistics and Anthropology and a PhD (2013) in Linguistics and Anthropology with a focus on space as expressed in the Kwak’wala language.
Nicolson works as a Kwakwaka’wakw cultural researcher and historian, as well as an advocate for Indigenous land rights. Her practice is multi-disciplinary encompassing photography, painting, carving, video, installation, monumental public art, writing and speaking. All her work is political in nature and seeks to uphold Kwakwaka’wakw traditional philosophy and worldview through contemporary mediums and technology. Exhibitions include the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia; The Vancouver Art Gallery, The National Museum of the American Indian in New York, Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Ontario, Museum Arnhem, Netherlands and many others. Major monumental public artworks are situated in The Vancouver International Airport, the Canadian Embassy in Amman, Jordan and the Canadian Embassy in Paris, France.
Nikau Hindin (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) graduated Elam School of Fine Arts with her BFA Honours and Masters at Toihoukura. She is a barkcloth maker who works with aute (paper mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera) and one of many tapa cloth makers from Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, the Great Ocean. Hindin grounds her practice in Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge systems), our Māori Lunar calendar, language, genealogy and relationships with knowledge holders, the land, plants and the ocean. Hindin was influenced by her time in Hawai’i with teachers and students of kapa (Hawaiian tapa cloth), voyaging and celestial navigation. Hindin returned to Aotearoa in 2018 to reawaken the practice of aute, a tradition that hadn’t been practiced in over a century. Hindin straddles the worlds of Indigenous practice and contemporary art. Hindin’s first solo at The Dowse (2020) Kōkōrangi ki Kōkōwai, was based on the movement of celestial bodies as signs to not only find direction but also to delineate time as an important part of our stella lunar calendar system.
Ngā hapū o Te Uriroroi, Te Parawhau, and Te Māhurehure ki Whatitiri Ngāpuhi nui tonu.
Nova Paul artist and senior lecturer, Visual Arts in the School of Art and Design, AUT. Her filmmaking is underpinned with kaupapa Māori research (by Māori, for Māori, of Māori). Her art draws from early cinema, experimental film histories and fourth wave film discourse and traditional Māori places for learning, to consider the poetics and politics of place, self-determinacy and the image, and the role of storytelling in talking back to neo-liberal hegemonies. Her writing practice focuses on mātauranga Māori and moving image and its relationship to tino rangatiratanga / self-determinacy, rongoā (medicine) and Māori tikanga (processes).
Nova Paul’s films have screened nationally and internationally in film festivals and gallery programmes.
RACHAEL RAKENA (Ngāi Tahu, Ngā Puhi)
Rakena coined the term ‘Toi Rerehiko’ to centre, claim and name digital space within a Māori paradigm, she describes and locates Māori digital/video/electronic-based art practice in terms of continuum, motion, and collaboration. Water is a prominent feature of Rakena’s work and it is claimed as an indigenous space. Critiquing notions of fluid identity, Pacific understandings of space and water through metaphors of digital space as water space, inhabited by iwi Māori, her art installations have evolved to enculturate and politicize water itself, navigating issues of ongoing Pacific diaspora, flooding and rising sea levels, and decolonization/(re)vitalization. Rachael has used water as an amniotic medium to play out ideas of ‘otherness’, alienation, cultural loss, colonization, immersion, and narratives of creation, desire, consumption, belonging, connectedness and ownership.
Known for her collaborative practice, she has been exhibiting internationally for 20 years. Highlights include Aniwaniwa, the 52nd Venice Biennale; Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Canada; Haka Peepshow, The Octagon, Dunedin; Māori Moving Image, Dowse Museum, Lower Hutt, NZ; Te Puna o Waiwhetu Christchurch City Gallery.
Rakena is a mum of one, a founding member of Paemanu, a collective of Ngāi Tahu contemporary artists, and an Associate Professor at Massey University Whiti o Rehua School of Art in Wellington. She co-conceived/co-curates Mana Moana, a waterscreen/online platform bringing together leading interdisciplinary Māori and Pacific artists to collaborate, exploring relationships with and across the ocean, climate change, and technology through indigenous perspectives, knowledge and narratives.
Bio to come…
Jaimie is a curator and interdisciplinary artist, member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Treaty 1 Territory and is of mixed heritage. Prior to coming to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, she served as the Indigenous and Contemporary Arts Curator at the Winnipeg Art Gallery for more than 6 years and has been in leadership positions in arts and cultural organizations as well as many independent projects.
Asinnajaq is an Inuk filmmaker and visual artist from Nunavik. She grew up in Montreal, and attended NSCAD University in Halifax, earning a BFA in 2015. She has spent two summers traveling throughout Inuit Nunangat as a trainee aboard the Lyubov Orlova. In August 2016, she co-curated a three-evening film festival of Inuit films, games and country food with co-curator Stephen Agluvak Puskas. Asinnajaq’s work moves to honor the past, and think towards the future. As part of Toronto’s imagineNATIVE 2017, Asinnajaq curated a screening of films titled Channel 51 Igloolik that provided a retrospective of 30 years of video art making by Isuma, Arnait, and Artcirq. Assinajaq’s film Three Thousand is featured in the exhibition.
Jocelyn Piirainen is a curator, artist and filmmaker originally from Ikaluktutiak (Cambridge Bay), NU and currently based in Winnipeg, MB. Piirainen’s educational background has focused on the arts, particularly film and new media, and her current artistic practice primarily involves analog photography. She has contributed to publications such as Canadian Art, Canadian Geographic and the Inuit Art Quarterly. Alongside, Piirainen has designed and developed various exhibitions, curatorial projects, screenings and arts festivals at numerous galleries and artist-run centres, including SAW Video Association in Ottawa, ON and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, ON, among others. In 2019, she became the inaugural Assistant Curator of Inuit Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Elisa Jane Carmichael
Elisa Jane Carmichael is a multidisciplinary artist and Quandamooka woman who honours her saltwater heritage by incorporating materials collected from Country, embracing traditional techniques, and expressing contemporary adaptations through painting, weaving, and textiles. She comes from a family of artists and curators, and works closely with her female kin to revive, nurture, and preserve cultural knowledge and practice. Elisa is a descendant of the Ngugi people, one of three clans who are the traditional custodians of Quandamooka, also known as Yoolooburrabee—people of the sand and sea. Recently, Elisa has been included in Tarnanthi 2020: open hands (Art Gallery of South Australia); Two Sisters a singular vision (Queensland Art Gallery, 2020); and Transits and Returns (Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, 2019). Elisa’s work is held in private and public collections across Australia and abroad, including QAGOMA, National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Reuben Friend (Ngāti Maniapoto, Pākehā) is the director of Pātaka Art Gallery and Museum in Porirua. From 2009-2013 he was the Curator of Māori and Pacific Art at City Gallery Wellington, and in a previous life worked in policy as the Senior Advisor for Treaty Relations at Wellington City Council, and as the Art, Culture and Heritage Advisor for the Featherston, Carterton and Masterton City Councils.
Ioana Gordon-Smith is an arts writer and Curator Māori Pacific at Pātaka Art + Museum. Prior to this role, she was the inaugural Curator at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery. Ioana has also worked as Curator at Objectspace, a gallery dedicated to craft, design and applied arts, and as the inaugural Education Intern for Artspace, New Zealand, a role which came about through a partnership between Tautai Contemporary Arts Trust and Artspace to increase the accessibility of Artspace to its nearby Pacific audiences.
In addition to her curatorial work, Ioana also contributes regularly to a number of catalogues as well as magazines and journals, such as Art New Zealand, Art News New Zealand and un Magazine. She was the New Zealand-based project manager for the inaugural Honolulu Biennial 2017 and has been a regular Pasifika correspondent for Radio New Zealand.
Though Ioana’s areas of interest span a broad range of disciplines, what is consistent throughout is a curatorial process that prioritises a close working relationship with artists and arts communities.
Ioana is the Assistant Curator of Yuki Kihara, Aotearoa New Zealand at the 59th Venice Biennale 2022.
I am a proud Yorta Yorta woman, curator and writer and Senior Curator South Eastern Aboriginal Collections at Museums Victoria. I have worked in curatorial roles at Melbourne Museum for over ten years (Bunjilaka Project Officer and Curator 2008-2015) and have curated over sixteen exhibitions with the Victorian Koorie Community at Museums Victoria. I was an assistant curator for the permanent First Peoples Exhibition at Melbourne Museum from 2009-2013. In 2018 I was the lead curator for the exhibition Mandela: My Life at Melbourne Museum, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and International Exhibition & Conference Group Pty Ltd (IEC Group Pty Ltd).
In my practice I work with knowledges, histories and futures at the intersection of historical collections and contemporary art and making. I am also interested in anti-colonial curatorial methodology and First Nations representation and access in museums and galleries. In my work at Museums Victoria I am the curator of and care for the South Eastern Australian First Peoples Collections (New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria), which holds over 4,000 historical and contemporary objects from communities. I also work closely with the Ethnohistory Collection, which includes photographs and archives. I am focused on continuing to build community access and relationships with the collections and connecting contemporary First Peoples artists and makers with the collections across multidisciplinary areas to reframe collections and create new dialogues with object and community. I am interested in extending the paradigm of what a museum can and should be from a First Peoples perspective, with an acquisition focus on addressing the gaps in the First Peoples Collections through contemporary collecting and living makers, and also continuing various research projects on the existing nineteenth and early twentieth century material held in the custodianship of Museums Victoria.
In my work at Museums Victoria and independently I am passionate about supporting First Peoples cultures from Australia and the world, and their agency within cultural institutions. As part of my research over the last ten years I have critically engaged with collections, archives and contemporary art spaces across Australia, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom. My research and area of interest also considers what it means historically and for the future of cultural materials in institutions, connecting people to collections, and the role contemporary art and artists have in and out of museums and galleries.
I have written extensively for art and museum publications nationally and internationally and held research, curatorial and writing fellowships across Europe, North America, South Asia and the United Kingdom. Alongside my museum practice I have independently curated shows in various art museums across Australia and the United States of America.