Thursday, September 11, 2008

Art about North Central Neighbourhood


Neal McLeod/Gabriel Yahyahkeekoot: collaborative exhibition entitled "That's my Wonderful Town", 2003, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina. Neal McLeod is of Cree heritage who grew up on the James Smith First Nation. Gabriel Yahyakeekoot is a video artist who grew up in Regina. Together they created an installation on the subject matter of the north central area of Regina.

McLeod's art work grew out of the Cree storytelling tradition. He writes in his artist's statement: "The wihtikow is a being within Cree stories which consumes humans, and is similar to a vampire in European culture. The wihtikow's consumption is relentless and without end. As a contemporary Cree painter, I draw upon metaphors and narratives of Cree storytelling in my work. In "Wihtikow City", the city of Regina is conceived as a wihtikow: consuming the life-force and light of Aboriginal people in the massive immigration from reserves in the last forty years". (Neal McLeod, Artist's Statement, "That's my Wonderful Town", 2003) Yahyahkeekoot projected video images of the north central area of Regina onto a part of McLeod's painting to draw attention to the societal injustices toward the people who live there, specificially the First Nation.

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