“Body and Water”
Curated by Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective
Artists: Paxsi, Jaime Black, Hannah Claus, and Lindsay Dobbin
Exhibition run: 3 September – 2 October 2021, Oxygen Art Centre
Admission is free or by donation, everyone welcome to attend. Email info[at]oxygenartcentre[dot]com for more information and/or questions
Based in the region of amiskwacîwâskahikan [Edmonton], Alberta, Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective supports the work of Indigenous contemporary artists and designers and engages in contemporary critical dialogue, valuing artistic collaboration and fostering awareness of Indigenous contemporary art practices.
Paxsi (they/jupa) is a queer, disabled Aymara and Welsh-Irish multidisciplinary artist based in amiskwaciywâskahikan. Drawing inspiration from folk icons such as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joni Mitchell, and Violeta Parra, Paxsi’s songwriting echoes folk revival with an alternative twist. Alongside their career as an emerging singer-songwriter, they create energy-informed beadwork which embodies Indigiqueer celebration and resistance. Paxsi uses their art, music, and writing as a means of connection and self-discovery, holding space for both healing and celebration. They hope to share this tenderness and joy with others in all that they do. You can find their work and more on their Instagram, @paxsi__.
Jaime Black is a multidisciplinary artist of mixed Anishinaabe and Finnish descent who lives and works in Winnipeg. Black’s practice engages in themes of memory, identity, place and resistance and is grounded in an understanding of the body and the land as sources of cultural and spiritual knowledge. Through her art practice, Black creates space and time to connect with and enter into a relationship with the land in which she works, creating images and impressions from a space of connection.
Hannah Claus is a Kanienkehá:ka and English visual artist who explores Onkwehonwe epistemologies as living transversal relationships in her transdisciplinary practice. A 2019 Eiteljorg fellow and 2020 Prix Giverny recipient, her installations have been included in exhibitions across Canada, including Àbadakone: Continuous Fire at the National Gallery of Canada in 2018, Des horizons d’attentes at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2021, and Written on the Earth at the McIntosh Gallery in 2021. She is a board member of the Conseil des arts de Montréal and is a co-founder of daphne, a new Indigenous artist-run centre in Montreal. Claus is a member of Kenhtè:ke, next to the Bay of Quinte in Ontario. Having grown up away from her grandfather’s community, she is privileged to live and work in Kanien’kehá:ka territory, in Tiohtià:ke [Montréal].
Lindsay Dawn Dobbin is a Kanien’kehá:ka – Acadian – Irish water protector, artist, musician, storyteller, curator and educator who lives and works in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of Lnu’k (Mi’kmaq). Dobbin’s relational and place-responsive practice is a living process—following curiosity rather than form, the way of water, with the intent of understanding and kinship. As a human being with intersecting identities as well as personal and ancestral displacement and trauma, their practice honours direct experience as a way of coming to (un)know while listening for the shared beingness, health and resilience in meeting waters. Their transdisciplinary work in sound art, music, performance, sculpture, installation, social practices and writing places wonder, listening, collaboration, play and improvisation at the centre of creativity, and explores the connection between the environment and the body, engaging in a sensorial intimacy with the land and water. Dobbin aims to bring attention to the natural world as witness, teacher and collaborator in learning—making visible and audible our interdependence with the larger web of living beings and systems in which human life is embedded.
Image: Paxsi, Courtesy the artist
© 2022 Oxygen Art Centre