Gone but not Forgotten

Authored by: WAG Staff on February 27, 2018

Recognizing and remembering the countless missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, men, and two spirit people, Gone but not Forgotten looms large in Skylight Gallery. The commissioned work, by INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE artist Casey Koyczan, is made up of driftwood harvested from the banks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The wood hangs from the skylight, tied together, creating a mobile of smooth and rough, large and small, sturdy and frail pieces, relaying the injustices, mistreatment, and economic scrutiny that First Nations people face on a daily basis.

For Koyczan, "the spirit and souls of the people who have been retrieved from these waters have been soaked into the wood and are present with us." The Dene artist gravitates to working with nature. "I install in unique ways in order to give life to materials that are dead in nature; giving them a second chance at life. I start with a vision and then harvest the materials to suit the idea and concept, then look for locations that are able to house my idea."

Gone but not Forgotten is one of 12 commissioned works created for INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE, the WAG's largest-ever display of contemporary Indigenous art. The exhibition considers political insurgency and cultural resurgence to radically shift our understanding of Canada, now and in the future. Activating the WAG like never before, INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE runs until April 22.

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