When people practice Netukulimk, the Mi’kmaw philosophy of self-sustainability, it is said that they go into the forest to sustain themselves — to live responsibly off the land. They don’t go simply to live, but rather to obtain the necessary resources, be they physical or metaphysical, to survive.
In her LandMarks 2017/Repères 2017 project, (re)al-location, artist, Ursula Johnson calls upon others to approach our environment with responsibility, intention, acknowledgement and respect. With (re)al-location, Johnson explores past, present and future relationships among area communities that have historic ties to Cape Breton Highlands National Park (NS). Coming together in a series of facilitated conversations with the artist, inhabitants share their local knowledge and traditions and reimagine them into the present. Part of Johnson’s contribution is the production of a unique foliage fabric pattern informed by the Park’s forest ecosystem and its evolution over time. A gift to the engaged communities, the design will feature prominently in a participatory performance event and celebratory feast, contributing to a renewed sense of stewardship and connection with the land.
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