Joi T Arcand, 2019: Àbadanoke | Continuous Fire | Feu continue

Ramp leading to Scotiabank Great Hall of the National Gallery of Canada, showing Joi T. Arcand, ᐆᑌᓃᑳᓅᕁ (ōtē nīkānōhk), 2019, vinyl installation (collection of the artist, © Joi T. Arcand, photo: NGC)

Thanks to Connie Berry of Ottawa for sharing photos from her recent visit to the National Gallery of Canada, where Muskeg Lake Cree artist Joi T Arcand was commissioned to create another of her large-scale syllabic installations. In this one, enormous vinyl cut-outs in neon colours are displayed on the ramp leading to the amazing Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continue international Indigenous art exhibition. The exhibition continues until April.

Part of Joi’s intention in her syllabic installations is to challenge individuals to find out on their own what the syllabics mean. In the case of this CLN post, that involved passing Connie’s photos on to Solomon Ratt (to expose parts of the message obscured by the person walking in the image above). Sol then provided transliteration into SRO and translation. I hope Joi would agree that we’ve honoured her challenge!

Moving up the ramp towards the gallery, we read:

ôtê nikân[î]hk nika-nihtâ-nêhiyawastân ôma mâka nititwêwina âkayâsîmopayaniwa êkwa nikimotamâkon

ᐆᑌ ᓂᑳᓃᕽ  ᓂᑲ ᓂᐦᑖ ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐘᐢᑖᐣ ᐆᒪ ᒫᑲ ᓂᑎᑘᐏᓇ ᐋᑲᔮᓰᒧᐸᔭᓂᐘ ᐁᑿ ᓂᑭᒧᑕᒫᑯᐣ

In the future, I will know how to write this in Cree but my words turn to English and it steals from me.

Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continue

Àbadakone: From big to small, it’s an uplifting exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art

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About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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