Divine Feminine art exhibit on display at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

The Divine Feminine art work by Kanai First Nation, Zoe Buckskin, art the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in Calgary on July 11, 2022. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

The Divine Feminine art series is at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary for a limited time and people can explore Indigenous art as part of the Land is Home project.

The Land is Home project is the first exhibition in a year-long rotating series of artworks celebrating connections to the land by Indigenous artists.

Through sculpture, watercolour, acrylic, Native TikTok and digital prints, the exhibit reveals new perspectives on nature reminding Calgarians that Indigenous people have cared for these lands since time immemorial and served as the original stewards of the places they now enjoy as parks.

The exhibition features sculpture, watercolour and acrylic painting by Zoe Buckskin, Kanai First Nation, Native TikTok by Kelsey Twoyoungmen, Stoney Nakoda First Nation, and Digital art by Hali Heavy Shield, Kanai First Nation.

Heavy Shield said the art reflects the name of the exhibit: Divine Feminine.

“It’s an inspiration of the women in my life who have influenced my work, including my mom, who was an artist as well,” said Heavy Shield.

According to Heavy Shield, the exhibit is a generational celebration of artwork, as the different pieces represent different Indigenous aspects of relation to the land.

Kanai First Nation artist, Hali Heavy Shield. PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF CALGARY.

Heavy Shield said it’s important to acknowledge the traditional peaceful relationships that Indigenous people had that strengthened the sustainability of the many Indigenous communities.

“I wanted to bring that out in the art which includes pipe bones and Blackfoot symbolism to really demonstrate the connection that I have to home and to some of the materials that I work with as well,” said Heavy Shield.

Indigenous Public Art Curator for the City of Calgary, Jessica McMann, said the exhibit is quite important and urges Calgarians to come see it.

“This is important because we’re putting Indigenous public art in a public space,” said McMann.

Digital art pieces by Kanai First Nation artist, Hali Heavy Shield, displayed as part of the Divine Feminine exhibit at Inglewood’s Bird Sanctuary in Calgary on July 11, 2022. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY.

“The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary represents this tie to the land and brings the presence of the Indigenous people back to this land.”

According to McMann, the exhibits is a starting point for learning and sharing as it creates a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples.

“The Divine Feminine is different than the works that we had last season. The Indigenous artists is diverse and fast, and I’m glad that I’m able to curate and put these pieces in together because they showcase that diversity of art as well,” said McMann.

Heavy Shield said it’s important Indigenous artists are building these creations.

Home: A Welded Scrap Metal Sculpture by Kanai First Nation artist, Zoe Buckskin, as part of the Divine Feminine exhibit at Inglewood’s Bird Sanctuary in Calgary on July 11, 2022. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY.

“They’re made by Indigenous folks. I think it’s very simple that Indigenous art is made by Indigenous people, and that’s how I understand it,” said Heavy Shield.

“It’s authentic, and it needs to come from the Indigenous person.”

Views: Acrylic on Canvas piece of art by Kanai First Nation artist, Zoe Buckskin, as part of the Divine Feminine exhibit at Inglewood’s Bird Sanctuary in Calgary on July 11, 2022. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY.
Resiliant: a digital art piece by Stoney Nakoda First Nation artist Kelsey Twoyoungmen, as part of the Divine Feminine exhibit at Inglewood’s Bird Sanctuary in Calgary. PHOTO COURTESY, CITY OF CALGARY.
 
A poem by Henry Heavyshield, displayed as part of the Divine Feminine exhibit at Inglewood’s Bird Sanctuary in Calgary on July 11, 2022. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY.

To learn more about the artists and the exhibit, you can visit the City of Calgary’s public art site.

The Divine Feminine exhibit will be available for Calgarians to visit from July 2022 until Oct. 2022.

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