Meryl McMaster: As Immense as the Sky
Canada House, Trafalgar Square
10.03.2020 - Summer/Autumn 2020
Private View & Panel Discussion: 10.03.2020, 6-8:30 PM
Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the exhibition will be closed to the public through the Spring and extended into the Summer/Autumn.
Curated by Verity Seward and Oceana Masterman-Smith
Canada House presents As Immense as the Sky - a new curation of recent works by Canadian photographer Meryl McMaster. Following on from the first solo presentation in the United Kingdom of McMaster’s work at IKON Gallery, Birmingham (December 2019), the exhibition features a selection of works from McMaster’s latest series As Immense as the Sky (2019) and Edge of a Moment (2017).
A member of the Siksika First Nation (Nêhiyawak, Plains Cree) on her father’s side and with Euro-Canadian (British and Dutch) ancestry on her Mother’s side, McMaster’s sculptural photography navigates her dual heritage to expand our understanding of self-hood. Incorporating props, constructed garments and performance, the artist adopts fluid guises to explore the intersections of her Indigenous and European heritage, revealing Canada’s conflicted histories. Her dream-like images encourage self-exploration, wonderment and hope, transporting the viewer to a space of contemplation and introspection.
For her latest series, As Immense as the Sky (2019), McMaster set out to gather the wisdom and folklore of relatives on both sides of her heritage. She traveled to sites of ancestral significance across central and southern Saskatchewan and to the shores of early settlement in Ontario and Newfoundland where social, cultural and environmental histories collide. Her self-portraits reanimate these stories through a transformative process that conflates mythology, genealogy and a profound connection to the Canadian landscape.
In Edge of a Moment (2017), McMaster ventured to Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump, Alberta - a historically and culturally important site to Indigenous communities where bison were hunted sustainably for over 6,000 years. Bison, prairie chickens, and beavers in this ancient ecosystem were erased to the point of extinction by modern farming practices and over-hunting, offering a stark reminder of the history of colonization and settlement on the environment. At the site of this environmental catastrophe, McMaster addresses humanity’s collective impact on the world, seeking to maintain a long-term ecological harmony with the land.
Supported by The Baldwin, Ikon Gallery and The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom.
Private View & Panel Discussion
10.03.2020, 6-8:30 PM
Panel speakers include Rhéanne Chartrand, Curator of Indigenous Art at McMaster Museum of Art, Canada, and Dennison Smith, PhD, Owner and Creative Director of The Baldwin Gallery, London. The panel will be chaired by co-curator Verity Seward.
Canada Gallery, Canada House, Trafalgar Square,
Pall Mall Entrance, London, SW1Y 5BJ
Security screening in place
Opening hours: 11 AM - 5:45 PM Monday - Saturday