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Shelby Lisk is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker and photographer with roots in Kenhtè:ke (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory) whose art practice is grounded in her connection to and place in the world as a Kanyen’kehá:ka woman.
Equal parts title and reminder, Lisk’s project Shé:kon se’onhwentsyà:ke ratinékere tsi nihá:ti nè:ne yesanorónhkhwa (there are still people in the world that love you) centres the women in her life who extend and continue to model an ethic of care. Lisk initiated a process in spring 2021, during Ontario’s third lockdown whereby she worked collaboratively with these women to design earrings that she subsequently beaded and gifted. The outcomes of this exchange are documented in a series of photographic portraits brought together in this exhibition. For Lisk, the mutual process of creating both the earrings and portraits is a form of enacting care, expressing gratitude, and re-establishing connections and community. In rendering visible these life-affirming relationships at a time when they were occluded by the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, this ongoing work offers crucial moments of communal healing.