The University of Winnipeg’s Gallery 1C03 presents a multi-sensory exhibit incorporating drawing, painting, sculpture, video, and sounds from natural elements by UWinnipeg’s renowned artist Dr. Julie Nagam.
Her solo exhibit, Julie Nagam: locating the little heartbeats, is an interactive and transformative experience for the audience and creates the conditions of drawing the natural world indoors. Nagam brings important relational concepts through painting with light, projection, and animation. In her art, Nagam reads the land as a valuable archive of memory and as a witness.
“I am interested in the knowledge the land has to tell us,” shares Nagam. “I think about the ways in which it breaths, feeds us and sustains us. I was interested in excavating plants that are part of the flora and fauna of Manitoba. From which, I have created paintings of plant specimens that have been transformed into magical moving images for the viewer to witness the power of nature and how it impacts us our lives. I wanted to invoke an immersive experience that demonstrates the importance each small plant provides to the overall ecosystem that the planet depends on.”
This exhibit runs from January 10 – February 16, 2019. This exhibit is free and open to the public.
Julie Nagam: locating the little heartbeats’s opening reception is on Thursday, January 10, 4:00 – 6:00 pm with opening remarks by Dr. Annette Trimbee and Dr. Niigaan Sinclair commencing at 4:30 pm. An illustrated publication accompanies the exhibit featuring an essay by Dr. Niigaan Sinclair. It will be available for sale for $5 per copy at the opening reception.
Panel discussion: Tuesday, January 15 at 1:00 pm in Convocation Hall. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Serena Keshavjee and features speakers Dr. Delia Gavrus, Dr. Julie Nagam, Dr. Niigaan Sinclair and Carl Smith. Learn more.
The impetus for Nagam’s work stems from her concern for the environment, water systems, and land-based knowledge. Issues around unclean drinking water, food sustainability, foraging, rapid melting of the polar ice caps, chemically-contaminated lakes, and the finite nature of water are all alarming realities society faces.
Through her art, Nagam offers hope: “Our survival and our continuation as a people are tied to Indigenous knowledge of the land and a return or an extension of these land-based practices is what will bring us into the future.”
Each of the works in locating the little heartbeats will invoke the magical elements of flora that are indigenous to this area to remind viewers of the healing qualities of each plant. Nagam’s research will result in drawings that will be “brought to life” via digital technologies as moving images onto a series of monitors and projections. This “living ecosystem” will consider the properties and lifelines that plant life and the land offers to the human world.
Nagam (Métis, German/Syrian) is the Chair of the History of Indigenous Art in North America, a joint appointment between UWinnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She is an associate professor in the Department of History at UWinnipeg. Her multi-media art installations, where white pines lay over the water and singing our bones home, have been shown in Canada, England, Brazil, France, and New Zealand. Her recent installations include the public artwork Electrical Currents for the Winnipeg Arts Council; Manitowapow, speaking to the moon commissioned for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche; and our future is in the land: if we listen to it for the Smithsonian National Museum of the America Indian in New York and A Space in Toronto.