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The Wooden Indian from Wagga Wagga Series by Rolande Souliere  | Images Source: www.rolandesouliere.com.au

Please join StreetARToronto (StART) and Dorset Gallery for an artist talk by Rolande Souliere, who will discuss her upcoming streetart installation at the Bala Pedestrian Underpass:

When: Tuesday September 29, 5pm-7pm
Where: Dorset Fine Arts, 100 Broadview Avenue #201 (just south of Queen East on the west side)

About the Artwork

Rolande’s submission draws upon a previous body of work titled “Frequent Stopping, Part I and II” that has toured across Canada from 2012-2014 in the exhibition Beat Nation curated by Tania Willard and Kathleen Ritter. In Frequent Stopping Part I, 2012-14 barricade tapes were utilized to make site specific, large scaled and hard edge abstract wall works. The material of the tape references the colour symbolism of the Four Directions (red, white, yellow and black) in First Nation culture whereas, the pulsating patterning of the work addresses land claims and how boundaries shift according to current socio-political affairs.

For the Bala Pedestrian Underpass she will create a large scaled geometric design wall painting consisting of bold colours in the colour scheme of the Four Directions, with different combinations and shifts in scale. The outcome of the wall work will invite viewers to experience the underpass in new and dynamic ways “that draw on the metaphors of the road, the experience of driving, the relationships between driver and authority, First Nation beadwork and the socio-political issues of First Nation.”

About the Artist

Working across disciplines of painting, sculpture, photography and more recently collage, Rolande’s practice is primarily installation that combines abstraction with organic forms, the hand crafted and the assisted readymade.

Her cultural heritage remains a poignant element of her art practice. As a child she attended a Canadian government sponsored afterschool program for First Nation children where she learned the many aspects of her culture, including language. More than twenty-five years later the basic value and traditions of this First Nation people(s) continues to fuel her thinking and behaviour and this is evident in her art. Processes of wrapping, weaving, stacking, colour, tactility and references to cosmologies are visible in my art. In recent years, she has been working with elements pertaining to the road, such as barricade tape, road signs, safety vests, street barriers, variable message boards, headlights and etc. that are configured into installations.

In the last two years, Rolande has been working with remote Australian Aborigial communities in the desert on community based projects for her Collage of Indigenization social art project, combined with specific community projects of their choice.


Project Background

This project forms a central part of a larger underpass initiative by the City of Toronto to enhance streetscapes through the installation of street art. StreetARToronto’s Underpass Program (StART UP) also serves to reduce the incidence of graffiti vandalism. The purpose of this program is to transform these underpasses into safe, walkable and beautiful spaces. For this project, StART administered an open competition that began with a Call to Aboriginal Artists from across Canada to submit an Expression of Interest including credentials and examples of past work for consideration for the Bala Pedestrian Underpass Project. Rolande’s proposal for StART’s Bala Underpass Project was selected in a juried competition.

About StreetARToronto (StART)

Launched in 2012, StreetARToronto (“StART”) is an innovative, public-private program designed to develop, support, promote and increase awareness of street art and its role in adding beauty and character to neighbourhoods throughout the City. StART projects help create attractive, colourful, vibrant streetscapes, support local artists and reduce graffiti vandalism. Visit toronto.ca/streetart for more information.

About Dorset Gallery

Dorset Fine Arts was established in 1978 as the wholesale marketing division of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. Located in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, the Co-operative is unique among the Arctic Co-operatives for its focus on the arts and artists of the community. The Annual Graphics Collection from Cape Dorset has been released annually since 1959 and the Co-operative also represents many acclaimed sculptors and drawing artists. The distinctive work produced in this region – particularly in stone cut and lithography – are produced in the Kinngait Studios, which is the oldest art print shop in Canada. Dorset Fine Arts was created to develop and serve the market for Inuit fine art produced by the artist members of the Co-operative. Sales and exhibitions of prints, drawings and sculptures are made through the Dorset Fine Arts showroom in Toronto to galleries around the world.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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