Métis artist Tracey-Mae Chambers brings her site-specific art installation #hopeandhealingcanada to the Guelph Civic Museum. Visitors to the museum can witness the creation process over three days, from September 22 to 24. The completed installation will be unveiled on Friday, September 24 in conjunction with the launch of Ontario Culture Days and to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Through a simultaneous interior and exterior art experience, Tracey-Mae Chambers threads connections between people, communities, and the environment. With this work, the artist responds to our individual and collective experiences of the pandemic and of the discoveries of the remains of Indigenous children buried at former Residential Schools.
Themes of hope and healing drive Chambers’ work as she symbolically reconnects a fractured society with tangled webs of red yarn. The colour red represents blood, passion, anger, courage and love.
#hopeandhealingcanada invites visitors to engage with the idea of connection, asking how communities can move forward to heal and support one another through traumatic and life-altering events.
“The yarn is used to illustrate connections between people and their environment and each other,” says Chambers. “More specifically, the connections between First Nations, Inuit and Métis is called into question considering that they are somehow outside of the general Canadian community. The thought of decolonizing spaces is also a major factor in this project.”
#hopeandhealingcanada will travel to 30+ sites across Canada but no two installations are alike. At the end of Guelph installation, Chambers will collect the red string to use in her next exhibition.
Regarding the installation that counters Egerton Ryerson’s Template for Residential Schools at Black Creek Pioneer Village,
I built a longhouse over the kidnapped children’s empty desks. The chair of the teacher is suspended above the students and is entangled in a dense weave of colonialism. There are lines of cut thread between the two groups.
Installation Process (available for the public to view)
September 22 to 24
Installation takes place from September 22 to 24 and Tracey-Mae Chambers invites visitors to view the installation process. She sees this as important community engagement that informs how the installation takes shape and what it means to the local community.
The artist welcomes opportunities for media interviews, while she’s installing, so that they are witness to the creation process.
The installation will be unveiled Friday, September 24 in correlation with the launch of Culture Days as well as our September Fourth Friday concert. Admission to the Civic Museum is extended until 9pm on the Fourth Friday of each month.
The exterior installation display continues through Culture Days month until Sunday, October 24, 2021. The interior installation in the Museum’s glass entrance will remain on display until Sunday, February 27, 2022. Both are free for the public to view.
Watch History Bites: Hope and Healing, A Conversation with Trace-Mae Chambers that aired on Wednesday, October 20, 2021: