November 10, 2022 - February 19, 2023
Memory, land, and identity are all deeply interwoven, often coming together to form a sense of home or belonging; joy or grief. These gentle ties to place extend from stories across generations that overlap with our own, responsibilities to land and the histories it holds, a moment witnessed, a tracing of steps, or an urge to remember and care for a space from which we grew.
The artworks in What’s Held explore ways of memorializing, mapping, and holding onto these significant sites, keeping our stories of them alive and present, even as the landscape shifts or carries us further away from home. Beyond settler borders and monuments, the works recognize the power and importance of place, from the desire paths left over from continually wandering the same treasured areas in meadows, fields, and forests, to the objects and scents that come to represent the ways that we’ve known these spots across landscapes.
Fifteen of the works are from the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Separate from this collection, are five drawings and prints by Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet. Her works share snippets of memories growing up on the prairies, becoming a form of personal archiving. She draws from feelings of loss and the complexities of enfranchisement, but also from moments of closeness between her and her relatives as they’ve walked through the bush, visiting familiar spots on the land.
By bringing these artworks together, What’s Held is a testament to land as a layered and active site that is powerfully carried forward through the stories told and held by our individual and collective experiences.
Curated by Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet & Robin Lynch
Feature image: Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet, It Only Punctured Foam, Mixed Media, 2021, Collection of the Artist