Curators and artists, Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Ray Short talk with Qanita Lilla about the many joys of collaborating. Their expansive practice embraces new visions of Métis identity and looks to broaden our view of reality to the outer limits of the known universe. Which unseen forces led them to art and to each other? What keeps them connected?
We wanted to both create and make. [Lii Zoot Tayr] is the third in a series of exhibitions we have created together, and the first two were curators only. And I think, as creatives and as makers, we really felt compelled to contribute to this conversation visually through making and not just curating.
Amy Malbeuf is a Métis visual artist from Rich Lake, Alberta, Treaty 6 territory currently living on unceded Mi’kmaq territory in Terence Bay, Nova Scotia. Through mediums such as animal hair tufting, beadwork, installation, performance, and tattooing Malbeuf explores notions of identity, place, language, and ecology. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in over forty shows at such venues as Art Mûr, Montréal, Winnipeg Art Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe; and Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua, New Zealand. Malbeuf holds a Native Cultural Arts Instructor Certificate from Portage College and an MFA in Visual Art from the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
Jessie Ray Short is an artist, filmmaker and independent curator of Métis, Ukrainian and German descent. Jessie Ray’s practice involves uncovering connections between a myriad of topics that interest her, including, but not limited to, space and time, Indigenous and settler histories, Métis visual culture, personal narratives, spiritual and scientific belief systems, parallel universes, electricity, aliens and non-human being(s). Jessie Ray explores these topics using mediums such as film and video, performance art, finger weaving, sewing, writing and curating. She has been invited to show her work nationally and internationally, including at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, at La Chambre Blanche in Québec City, Art Mûr Berlin (a satellite exhibition of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial/BACA) in Germany, and at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival in New Zealand. Jessie Ray is deeply grateful to be based in oskana kâ-asastêki or Pile of Bones (also known as Regina) in Treaty 4 territory.
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