Curatorial Statement

As part of LandMarks2017/Repères2017, Many Voices: Indigenous Art is invested in the idea that narratives of confederation must extend to include diverse voices and centre Indigenous lands. By considering the home that was once the lake-front retreat of Canada’s first Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald and his wife Isabella, this exhibition opens up the possibility to engage with more expansive ideas of history, place and belonging. Many Voices: Indigenous Art calls attention to the land on which the father of confederation’s home was built in the 1840s, the land that this national and historic site continues to sit on, the land that is and has been Indigenous land since time immemorial, the land that is Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory. Many Voices: Indigenous Art endeavours to provide an entryway to consider Bellevue House National Historic Site through a critical lens and bear witness to the stories being told through and by the featured artists.

Many Voices weaves together a selection of artworks and performances that place focus on our relationships to one another. Artworks that remember the stories we tell through them that tie us to land, belonging, languages, cultures, dreams, past and present and future, all at once. Stories that stem from our interconnectedness with the earth. Stories that reimagine relationality. Stories that take up and take back space. Stories that redefine the dominant narratives of confederation. Many Voices: Indigenous Art engages directly and provocatively with critical contemporary Indigenous art to contrast dominant Canadian narratives and build deeper, more inclusive and reflective narratives that address Indigenous presences, histories, territories and voices.