New St. John's exhibit has sincere and gentle warning about environmental damage

New St. John's exhibit has sincere and gentle warning about environmental damage
From CBC - March 14, 2018

"When they poison the bogs we will still braid sweetgrass."

The places we call home have other names that have mostly been forgotten, and that is no accident.

Meagan Musseau is a visual artist from Elmastukwek, in the Ktaqmkuk territory of Mi'kma'ki. Few readers will recognize her hometown until I tell you that you may know it as the community of Curling in the Bay of Islands, in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Pejipuk"the winter is coming"is not a call-out to HBO's Game of Thrones, but the name of Musseau's show currently on display at Eastern Edge Gallery in downtown St. John's.

It's a sincere and gentle warning that we have done some serious damage to our home. Our icecaps are melting, many animals are going extinct, the coral reef is dying.

What will we have when the earth is gone? We will always have our stories.

Musseau reminds all of us that we live on through the passing down of skills and that although the organic elements of our traditions may go away, we will always adapt.

Her work shows us traditional Mi'kmaq basket weaving, but instead of ash wood and sweetgrass, the baskets are made from flagging tape and synthetic vinyl strips.

From fear to resilience

When I look at Musseau's work, I find myself going back and forth between a sense of fear acknowledging that plastics are filling the ocean, and then to a place of resilience with how traditions are stronger and live longer than plastic.

All in the stitch


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