Hįdú ɂAssı̨́i – K’inayele (Now Things, She Carries Them Around) by Laura Grier
Join Laura for their workshop, In Bloom: Lino Printmaking, on April 24th!
Laura Grier’s works in printmaking and word-making are expressions of relationships. In Hįdú ɂAssı̨́i – K’inayele (Now Things, She Carries Them Around), Grier works with TseYǝ́dı́ı (wood), tampons, pads, underwear, takeout containers, plastic beads, pill bottles, and Sahtúgot’ı̨nę Kede (the Bear Lake Language) to make words and patterns that adorn sheets of cotton and the gallery’s walls. These hand-carved wood block prints foil institutional expectations for printmaking by aspiring to be less precious and more useful than fine art prints on paper.
Making with wood and the Bear Lake Language teaches Grier how to recognize the potential for extending and receiving care; asking for and yielding to compromise; and cultivating joy and respect with non-human relations. Within Sahtúgot’ı̨nę Kede, Grier carves out space for their lived experiences as an urban Dene person by crafting words that reflect their reality. For Hįdú ɂAssı̨́i – K’inayele (Now Things, She Carries Them Around) specifically, Grier shares words that describe the floral designs of their textile works, honouring their self-care while confronting the tension they feel about menstruation and its associated waste.
Each design in this new body of work began as experimental drawings made with objects from Grier’s life related to bodies and periods. Grier translated those marks into digital form, then combined them with others into patterns reminiscent of Dene textiles. Though not sewn with beads, this imagery allows Grier to connect with the visual language of Dene craft as a printmaker. The work also creates opportunities for Grier to contemplate the harder-to-recognize relationships in plastic, whose versatility as menstrual products or pill bottles tends to disguise its deep-earth origins. Camouflage is at work in Hįdú ɂAssı̨́i – K’inayele too. As it invites moments of disorientation and discovery, the work asks you to look with fresh eyes on the materials that populate your everyday life.
The RBC Emerging Artist Residency Program is generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation and the RBC Emerging Artist Project.
Laura Grier is a Délı̨nę First Nations artist and printmaker, born in Somba ké (Yellowknife), and raised in Alberta. Through the use of traditional print mediums, they instrumentalize the power of the handmade to reflect political sociology, culture, ecology, and Indigeneity. Responding to lived experiences of urban displacement as a Dene woman through print, Laura’s work is also inspired by the dynamism of Indigenous art practices and uses printmaking as a tool for resistance, refusal, and inherent Bets’ı̨nę́. They hold a BFA from NSCADU (K’jipuktuk) and an MFA from OCAD University (Tkaronto). They have exhibited at Xpace Cultural Centre, Harcourt House, DC3 Art Projects, SNAP Gallery, and ArtsPlace. Laura has received grants and awards for their work, including the Indigenous project grants from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and was the 2018 RISE Emerging Artist recipient. They currently reside in Tkaronto.
This exhibition is supported by the RBC Foundation and the RBC Emerging Artist Project.