New exhibit from Indigenous artist opens at Art Gallery of Mississauga


Published January 22, 2024 at 3:25 pm

A new art exhibition featuring the work of an Indigenous artist opens soon in Mississauga.

Artist Olivia Whetung, of Curve Lake First Nation and citizen of the Nishnaabeg Nation, shows her work at the Art Gallery of Mississauga.

The exhibition’s Anishinaabemowin title, inawendiwok, loosely translates as “they are related to each other,” emphasizing the ways in which coexistence within the ecosystem is mutually linked.

It opens on Jan. 28.

Whetung draws on her experience working on and with the land to create artworks that speak of the interdependence of the ecosystem, according to a release from the gallery.

Researching land-based and food de-commodifying movements, Anishinaabe knowledge, and the ecology of her home territory, Whetung has produced a series of sculptural installations, digital prints, and three-dimensional beadworks that articulate the vital connectivity between woodland, wetland and garden environments, the release states.

The artist’s first-hand observations are nourished by a critical understanding of Western agricultural models and natural science methodologies as detrimental to the ecologies of southern Ontario where they have caused massive environmental destruction, the release states.

“Western worldviews, brought over by European settlers, treat only cleared farmland as ‘productive’ while deeming woodland and wetland unmanageable and useless,” the release notes. “These outlooks centre human needs and desires at the expense of the ecosystem’s survival.”

For more on the exhibition and to reserve tickets for the opening reception, see the gallery website here.

The Art Gallery of Mississauga is at 300 City Centre Dr. in Mississauga Civic Centre.

Photo: Olivia Whetung