Bridging the past and the future

Authored by: WAG Staff on December 4, 2017

This month, we’re continuing to explore the theme of technology and how INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE artists weave together traditional knowledge with technology in their work. At the top of the WAG staircase in Skylight Gallery you will find two mannequins dressed in traditional Anishinaabe regalia. The beadwork is stunning, intricate and colourful. But look closer…are they really beads?

Having learned beadwork from his grandmother and great-aunt, artist Barry Ace draws inspiration from many facets of his Anishinaabe culture and “creates objects and imagery that utilize many traditional Great Lakes-style forms and motifs. I then disrupt the reading of the works with the introduction of other elements and technology using salvaged electronic components and circuitry (capacitors and resistors), producing a convergence of the historical and the contemporary.”

In doing so, Ace works to “bridge the past with the present and the future, and as a demonstrable act of nationhood, resistance and modernity. My contemporary practice intentionally, yet respectfully, transcends and moves forward conventional Anishinaabeg cultural boundaries as a confluence between the historical and contemporary.”

Hear more about Ace's practice in this video:

Learn about the stories behind the art when you join us every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm for guided tours of the exhibitions on view. Free with Gallery admission. 

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