Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Sovereign Intimacies Response by Dana Lance


Image: Dana Lance, I Can't Breathe, video still excerpt from freestyle dance, 2021.

I chose to choreograph and perform a freestyle dance f
or my creative response to the Sovereign Intimacies exhibition which you can watch on Gallery 1C03's IGTV Channel. I began the process by building a moodboard which I like to incorporate when I carry out creative projects. This is a strategy I was introduced to when I recently participated in a multi-storytelling program and it is really neat! In this case, I looked through photographs from the exhibition and was inspired by several pieces that were on view at Plug In ICA. In particular, the pieces I took inspiration from are Hassan Ashraf and Annie Beach’s Heart Berry Kief, Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin’s Gift – 遠⾜ (Ensoku) - Away, and iris yirei hu’s weaver girl limns two rainbows. When creating this piece I wanted to focus on elements and movement that people who are non-dancers may not pick up on. Sovereign Intimacies features work by collaborators who are Indigenous and artists from the diaspora. The show made me reflect on the intimacies I share between people outside the diaspora of my ethnicity and how I connect with the Indigenous communities in my life. The various talks throughout the exhibition have also contributed to my thought process while prompting my own discussion with myself as an artist who is a cis-gendered woman of color.

Image: Dana Lance, I Can't Breathe, video still excerpt from freestyle dance, 2021. 

For my freestyle I considered the clothing I wore, the background I am dancing in front of, and the intention of my movements. I did not want to make it an overcomplicated piece. I believe in the simplicity of movement, of being there for yourself and not for others. After all, you own your body and you have autonomy over it. Freestyling is a way to let go of constraints that bind us to a strict routine and, instead, just letting your body move the way it wants to. I think that, in many ways, it is a powerful and freeing movement that grants you the ability to show how you feel in the moment. Thinking back to the intentions of the artists who presented their works in Sovereign Intimacies, the artists also embodied a sense of ownership through their creative work.  For example, Hassaan and Annie’s work used language to take back their mother tongue and own it rather than seeing it as an obstacle. This was such a powerful way to decolonize the system.

Image: Hassaan Ashraf & Annie Beach, Heart Berry Kief, 2020, paint, stickers, glitter on wood. Photo: Marco Muller.

The song I used for my freestyle is by H.E.R. and is called “I can’t breathe.” It talks about the injustices experienced by Black people and the relevance of how the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to change that. I chose to wear a dark sweater with the BLM logo on it which has Korean writing. Translated from Korean to English, the text means roughly “Black lives are precious” which is very fitting for the song lyrics and my freestyle. As you listen to the lyrics one of the lines I found powerful was when H.E.R. sings “How do we cope when we don’t love each other? Where is the hope and the empathy? (Yeah) How do we judge off the color? The structure was made to make us the enemy (Yeah)”. Those lyrics for me relate to some of the themes in Sovereign Intimacies and contributed to my freestyle process. I also wore a mask to incorporate how the Covid 19 pandemic is a global health crisis that has also amplified racial inequities and sparked dialogue around racism and white supremacy.

In this freestyle but also in my overall dance journey, trying to find yourself and what defines you as both a creative and as a human being can be challenging. The Sovereign Intimacies exhibition has actually given me some inspiration for both dance and non-dance ideas which has been very humbling. Especially during these hectic times I’m grateful to still be active and creating content when life seems to have become such an overwhelming string of events. I hope that my creative response not only encourages you to delve into the practices of reclaiming your own cultural heritage but also discovering the unlimited boundaries you have when creating or looking through art in a new light.

Image: Dana Lance, I Can't Breathe, video still excerpt from freestyle dance, 2021.

Dana Lance (She/Her) is a Filipinx/o/a and Japanese dancer who likes to incorporate elements of art with anything and everything creative and experimental. Her interest in the visual and performing arts started as long ago as she can remember, from being in choir, to trying guitar and piano before settling on dance in her junior years. Her commitment to recognizing her cultural roots and integrating that into her dance has pushed her to advocate on issues such as mental health, decolonization within the Filipinx/o/a/ and Japanese diaspora and implementing an anti-racism practice in all foundations.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Sovereign Intimacies Response by Madison Hanson

Image: Madison Hanson, Untitled, upcycled yarn, branch, 2020. 

For my creative response to Sovereign Intimacies, I took inspiration from iris yirei hu’s installation weaver girl limns two rainbows and Wrapped in the Cloud by Jaad Kuujus (Meghann O’Brien) produced in collaboration with Conrad Sly, Hannah Turner, Reese Muntean, and Kate Hennessy. I was especially inspired by the artists’ focus on weaving as a symbol of the strength of communities and so I made my own woven tapestry.

Image: Jaad Kuujus (Meghann O'Brien), Wrapped in the Cloud, 2018, produced in collaboration with Conrad Sly, Hannah Turner, Reese Muntean and Kate Hennessy, still from 3D animated video. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Each of the different types of yarn used in my weaving were given to me by my friends and family. The branch that the tapestry hangs from was a gift from my father. During a time when it is very difficult to be away from each other, weaving this tapestry was a chance to bring my friends together even if only symbolically.

When creating the tapestry, I used each section as a chance to think about the friend that 
contributed the yarn and to create an emotional link between the friend and that section of the tapestry. It is comforting to see yarns from the sweaters, socks, and artistic projects of my friends brought together and strengthened through this tapestry.

Madison Hanson is completing her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Winnipeg. She has worked for many years teaching, mentoring and supporting youth locally through programs such as the Boys and Girls Club. In the early months of 2020, she also taught in South America.

Image: iris yirei hu, weaver girl limns two rainbows, 2020, mixed media installation. Photo: Karen Asher.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Sovereign Intimacies Response by Magnolia Valles Duran


Image: Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin, Gift – 遠足 (Ensoku) - Away (detail), 2020, mixed media installation. 
Photo: Marco Muller. 

La principal inspiración de mi respuesta creativa a la exposición Sovereign Intimacies es la instalación Gift - 遠 ⾜ (Ensoku) - Away de Ayumi Goto y Peter Morin. Cuando vi por primera vez la manta sobre la que se colocan los objetos en esa instalación, me inspiró mucho. Hay dos aspectos importantes de la obra de arte de Goto y Morin que quería incluir en mi respuesta creativa: la entrega de regalos y las relaciones. También quería abordar el concepto de identidad, que está muy presente en todas las obras de arte de la exposición.
Con estas ideas en mente, comencé a considerar qué respuesta podía ofrecer. Originalmente pensé en hacer una manta yo misma, pero quería crear algo que fuera significativo para mí y mi familia, así que elegí hacer una almohada porque las almohadas hacen muy feliz a mi madre.
En cuanto a técnica, me decidí por la costura porque es algo que mi familia siempre ha hecho. Tanto mi abuela como mi mamá saben coser, y tengo muy felices recuerdos de las dos sentadas junto al televisor mientras cosían bonitos diseños. Empecé eligiendo el diseño que cosería en la almohada. No soy muy avanzada en costura y quería hacerlo sola, así que compré el diseño en una tienda local junto con los hilos. Elegí un diseño con flores por mi nombre, Magnolia, y porque mi casa siempre está llena de flores y mi familia y yo siempre hacemos de la jardinería una actividad familiar. Antes de comprar este patrón también investigué un poco sobre el simbolismo de las flores. Hay tres flores en este diseño: amapolas rojas, nomeolvides azules y margaritas amarillas. Las amapolas rojas simbolizan el recuerdo y también la esperanza, los nomeolvides azules representan el amor verdadero y las margaritas amarillas representan la felicidad, la alegría y la amistad. Estas flores no solo tienen un hermoso simbolismo, sino que también se ven con mucha frecuencia creciendo en los campos cercanos a mi casa. Después de empezar a trabajar en la almohada, se lo escondí a mi madre hasta el 5 de enero. En España, tenemos la tradición de que la noche del 5 de Enero los Reyes Magos nos hacen regalos (es nuestro equivalente a Papá Noel). Quería darle esta almohada a mi madre para traerle alegría y felicidad durante las vacaciones, pero también para representar la esperanza y la amistad.

Magnolia Vallés Durán es una alumna internacional de España. Magnolia ha trabajado en la Galería 1C03 como asistente desde enero de 2020. Actualmente está cursando su posgrado en Historia en la Universidad de Manitoba y la Universidad de Winnipeg en el Programa Conjunto de Maestría en Artes, con una tesis centrada en el impacto de las enfermedades en las mujeres españolas durante los siglos XV y XVI.

Image: Magnolia Valles Duran, Basket of Flowers, 2020, cross-stitch embroidery on pillow.

The main inspiration for my creative response to the Sovereign Intimacies exhibition is the installation Gift – 遠⾜ (Ensoku) - Away by Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin. When I first saw the blanket upon which the objects are laid in that installation, I was very moved. There are two important aspects of Goto and Morin’s artwork that I wanted to include in my response: gift giving and relationships. I also wanted to address the concept of identity which is important to all of the artworks in the exhibition. 

With these ideas in mind, I began to consider what response I could offer.. I originally thought of making a blanket myself, but I wanted to create something that was meaningful to me and my family, so I chose to produce a pillow because pillows make my mother very happy. 

In terms of technique, I decided on sewing because it is something my family has always done. Both my grandmother and my mom sew, and I have very happy memories of the two of them sitting by the TV while sewing pretty designs. I started by choosing the design I would sew on the pillow. I am not very advanced in sewing and I wanted to do it by myself, so I bought the design from a local store along with the threads. I chose a design with flowers because of my name, Magnolia, and because my house is always full of flowers and my family and I always make gardening a family activity. Before buying this pattern I also did some research about the symbolism of the flowers. There are three flowers in this design: red poppies, blue forget-me-nots, and yellow daisies. Red poppies symbolize remembrance and also hope, blue forget-me-nots represent true love, and yellow daisies represent happiness, joy and friendship. Not only do these flowers have beautiful symbolism but they are very commonly seen growing in the fields close to my house.

After I started working on the pillow, I hid it from my mother until January 5th. In Spain, we have a tradition that on the night of the 5th of January, the three wise kings give us gifts (it’s our equivalent of Santa Claus). In making this pillow, I wanted to give it to my mother to bring her joy and happiness during the holidays, but also to represent hope and friendship.

Magnolia Valles Duran is an international student from Spain. Magnolia has worked at Gallery 1C03 as a gallery attendant and art educator since January 2020. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in History from the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg Joint Master of Arts Program, with a thesis focused on the impact of disease on women in Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Sovereign Intimacies Response by Mariko Hamade


Image: Mariko Hamade, Family, 2020, Amigurumi.

Gift-giving is one of the oldest ways to solidify a relationship. Balanced exchange of gifts has often been the foundation of important relationships across cultures. In our personal lives, exchanging gifts can be a way to tell someone you love that you care, to wish them well, or to celebrate an achievement or holiday. The artwork Gift – 遠足 (Ensoku) - Away by Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin in the Sovereign Intimacies exhibition captures this idea of gift-giving and friendship perfectly. I felt especially drawn to this piece as I share a similar cultural background with Ayumi Goto, and the dolls featured in this piece connect to my own creative practice in the art of Amigurumi (編みぐるみ), a type of crocheted, Japanese doll-making.

Image: Mariko Hamade, Mariko and Eryn, 2020, Amigurumi.

The idea of exchanging gifts has always been important to me. When I first learned to crochet and design dolls, I did it to create gifts for those I love. One of the things I found most interesting about Ayumi Goto's and Peter Morin's dolls in
Gift – 遠足 (Ensoku) - Away was their likeness to their human counterparts. Having these dolls made in their likenesses showcases Ayumi’s and Peter’s similarities and differences. The dolls’ consistent shape and design highlight their similarities and show they are a matching pair, but the subtle variabilities in their height, the treatment of their clothing, and the beading details differentiate them as individuals. I wished to capture these aspects in the dolls I made of my family. I used the same base for every single doll, changing out design elements such as colours, hair and clothing to capture each person's individuality.

Image: Mariko Hamade, Parents, 2020, Amigurumi.

By making and gifting these dolls for the people I love most, I hope to express my appreciation for the relationships I have. This year has been quite different in how we can interact with the people we love. Outside of the people we live with, we are told to keep our distance. Without being able to be close physically or to spend quality time together, it can be very hard to nurture and care for relationships this year. By looking to Ayumi Goto's and Peter Morin's artwork
Gift – 遠足 (Ensoku) - Away, we can be reminded of the importance of gift-giving and how it can be used to strengthen relationships. Even if you cannot be close with your loved ones this year, you can still send them a useful item, a handmade piece of art or some delicious food to let them know you are thinking of them. Through small gifts, we can bring a bit of love and joy to the people we care about.

Image: Mariko Hamade, Siblings, 2020, Amigurumi.

Mariko Hamade is a Japanese-Canadian Amigurumi designer and textile artist based in Winnipeg. Mariko has worked at Gallery 1C03 as a gallery attendant and art educator since 2019, and is graduating this February with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Religion and Culture.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Creative Responses to Sovereign Intimacies Exhibition

 Image: Sovereign Intimacies, partial exhibition view at Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. Photo: Karen Asher.

Gallery 1C03 is pleased to announce a series of creative responses to the Sovereign Intimacies exhibition that we presented in partnership with Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art and with support from Video Pool Media Arts Centre. The exhibition was curated by Nasrin Himada and Jennifer Smith and was shown at Plug In's gallery space and online from September 26 - December 20, 2020.

Sovereign Intimacies 
explores themes of cultural and community exchange between Indigenous artists and artists from the diaspora, more specifically artists who are First Nations, Inuit and Métis collaborating with artists living in what is currently called Canada who came to this land and are not part of the settler/colonial history of the country. The group show consists of pairings of artists, as well as, individuals whose work is based on process and relationship building, and for those whose work is invested in active conceptualization around topics of friendship and intimacy, who are working to build collective vision of a sovereign future. Featured artists included Hassaan Ashraf, Annie Beach, Ayumi Goto, iris yirei hu, melannie monoceros, Peter Morin, Mariana Muñoz Gomez, Wanda Nanibush, Meghann O’Brien, M. NourbeSe Philip, Marie-Anne Redhead, Cheyenne Thomas and David Thomas.

In response to the exhibition, Gallery 1C03's staff put together a digital education program for the exhibition which is designed for teachers, homeschooling parents and community group leaders to deliver to students and youth. The program includes images and descriptions of artworks in the exhibition, lesson plans and ideas for creative responses.

Inspired by their engagement with the exhibition and through developing the education program, the Gallery's student assistants have made their own personal creative responses to the exhibition as well. Over the coming days and weeks, we will share their responses on this blog and through our Instagram feed. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

A response to What We Make III: University of Winnipeg Community Art Exhibition


From June 24 - September 24, 2020, Gallery 1C03 is presenting What We Make III, an online exhibition that celebrates the creativity of the University of Winnipeg community. In response to an open call for submissions to current and former University students and staff, Gallery 1C03 received works by 22 artists. The exhibition can be viewed on a special website and we have promoted the work of each of the participants via our facebook and instagram feeds.

In July, University of Manitoba student Alina Bilonozhko wrote an essay responding to the exhibition for Honoure Black's Modern to Contemporary Art class (FAAH 2080). In particular, Bilonozhko shared her interpretation of the acrylic pour painting, Double Overhead, by What We Make III participant, Renée Douville.  

We share Bilonozhko's essay below.

Double Overhead
By Alina Bilonozhko

The University of Winnipeg Gallery 1C03 engages many different communities and presents contemporary artworks through the University's permanent art collection and seasonal art exhibitions.
[1] One such exhibition, What We Make III (June 24 – Sep 24, 2020), collects the works of students and professors and focuses on the creativity of the University of Winnipeg community in an online format.[2] The exhibition includes various forms and mediums, including photography, wool fiber art, metalsmithing, sculpture, drawing, functional art projects, and painting to represent diverse experiences and passions among the community.[3] Renée Douville’s Double Overhead is an acrylic pour painting on canvas that embodies the spirit of life through the biological motifs and stochastic art-making process. 

    Image: Renée Douville, Double Overhead, 2020, acrylic pour painting on canvas, 10” x 10”.

Renée Douville is a professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Winnipeg, studying and doing research in Microbiology and Immunology.[4] Her artistic expression reflects the biological environment and living organisms through abstract creation.[5] “Science embracing creativity ensures we see the world with fresh eyes,” as she describes her work, Double Overhead.[6] The fluid shapes and structures in the painting resemble the formation and movement of cells under a microscope. Loosely and, in some places, densely connected to each other, the cells are forming a layer, strongly reminiscent of a loose connective tissue found around and between most body organs.[7] The function of such tissue is to provide mechanical strength along with physical and metabolic support to all the other types of tissues in the living organism.[8] Randomly formed cells flow unevenly on the canvas, simulating a random direction of fibers in the tissue.[9] The thick dark blue outlines of the cells resemble the collagen fiber bundles interwoven into a “mesh-like network”, while the dark purple dots appear like fibroblast cell nuclei.[10] Through her artwork, the artist symbolizes the elasticity and voluminosity of the cells and tissues, the complex structures of the biological environment, and an organism as a whole. 

Douville’s artwork encapsulates the fluidity of the paints running through the system of interacting colours and creating a whole new world. The dominant colours of white and blue in the acrylic painting Double Overhead interchange within the direction of the flow of the paint. White, which is the main colour in the lower half of the painting, penetrates the dark blue at the top and changes its form into a thick line. The lines become an outline of the abstract cellular shapes, captured in their liquified state. The dark blue, on the other hand, moves from the top half of the painting to the bottom, creating a thin, watery contour. The contrast of the artwork changes significantly, from white and light beige in the lower half to cold blue, green, and purple in the upper half. This contrast creates an effect of transparency as if the painting is a section of the slide examined under a microscope in the bright light.[11] The dark blue and purple strongly appear in the middle sections, resembling the staining process of the slide that enhances visualization of certain cellular components under a microscope.[12] The colours in Douville’s artwork mix together and flow deprived of constraints, creating a spirit of life through the scientific motifs and allowing the viewer to see the world in a new light. 

The flow of the paints creates the effect of movement as if the artwork is breathing and living its own life. To create such an effect, Douville uses the technique of acrylic pour painting, a form of fluid art that first emerged in the 1930s from a Mexican artist named David Alfaro Siqueiros.[13] The painting process is rather accidental and chaotic that fully depends on the spreading and mixing of liquid paints.[14] This technique requires direct pouring of the paints onto the freshly painted flat canvas, resulting in a semi-random process of colour mixture.[15] The artists often use silicon oils or alcohol solutions to create eccentric cellular patterns and forms in their fluid artwork.[16] The use of a butane torch plays a crucial role in pour painting technique which involves directing the heat onto the layer of paint mixed with silicon oils.[17] The heat of the torch creates a chemical reaction that breaks the top layer of the paint and creates a cellular pattern.[18] For pouring techniques and to move the paint in desired directions, the artists use numerous different tools such as palette knives, spatulas, straws, funnels, hair combs, and hairdryers.[19] The physical process of painting becomes the art itself that rejects traditional brush and easel and conveys emotion through abstraction. This semi-random process of creating art in Double Overhead mirrors the semi-random nature of biological systems that creates complexity and order out of a chaotic environment. 

Gallery 1C03 provides an opportunity for the University of Winnipeg community to express their creativity. Through the unconventional act of painting, Renée Douville creates an expressionistic artwork rich with colours and abstract fluid forms. Her acrylic pour painting Double Overhead reflects her passion and devotion to Biological Sciences, creating cellular patterns and structural frameworks of the tissues of the living organisms. The portraiture of the biological environment allows the viewer to look at the art from a different perspective as if they are examining it under the magnifying lens of the microscope, perhaps, through the eyes of the artist.

[1]Gallery 1C03,” accessed July 3, 2020.

[2]What We Make III,” What We Make III | Art Gallery | The University of Winnipeg, accessed July 4, 2020.

[3] Ibid.

[4]Renée Douville,” accessed July 4, 2020.

[5]Renée Douville,” Google Sites, accessed July 2, 2020.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Jane B. Reece et al., Campbell Biology (New York: Pearson Education, 2014), 919.

[8] Reece, Campbell Biology, 919.

[9] Lumen Learning, “Connective Tissue,” Lumen, accessed July 3, 2020.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Reece, Campbell Biology, 904.

[12] Ibid., 905.

[13]The Science Behind Acrylic FlowPainting,” Fluid Art Projects, accessed July 4, 2020.

[14] Ibid.

[15]Learn How to Do Acrylic FlowPainting,” Fluid Art Projects, accessed July 3, 2020.

[16] Olga Soby, “Acrylic Paint PouringSupplies - Complete Guide 2020,” Smart Art Materials, June 29, 2020, accessed July 5, 2020.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.




 “Gallery 1C03.” Accessed July 3, 2020.


Learning, Lumen. “Connective Tissue.” Lumen: Anatomy and Physiology. Accessed July 3, 2020. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/nemcc-ap/chapter/connective-tissue-supports-and-protects/.

Reece, Jane B., Lisa A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven Alexander Wasserman, Peter V. Minorsky, Rob Jackson, and Neil A. Campbell. Campbell Biology. New York: Pearson Education, 2014.

Renée Douville.” Accessed July 4, 2020.

Renée Douville.” Google Sites. Accessed July 2, 2020.

Soby, Olga. “Acrylic Paint Pouring Supplies - Complete Guide 2020.” Smart Art Materials, June 29, 2020. Accessed July 5, 2020.

The Science Behind Acrylic Flow Painting.” Fluid Art Projects. Accessed July 4, 2020.

What We Make III.” What We Make III | Art Gallery | The University of Winnipeg. Accessed July 4, 2020.



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Video tour of Alootook Ipellie exhibit

Click photo to enlarge

To follow our blog post entries on the Alootook Ipellie exhibition Walking Both Sides of an Invisible Border, we invite you to watch a short video tour of the show led by Gallery 1C03 Director/Curator Jennifer Gibson on Gallery 1C03’s You Tube playlist.

Link to video tour: https://bit.ly/2ySF7lk.

The tour refers back to particular artworks that have been discussed in our blog entries. If this is your first visit to our blog, we encourage you to scroll back and read our previous essays on this important exhibition.

Image: Alootook Ipellie: Walking Both Sides of an Invisible Border, partial exhibit installation view showing several people looking at Ipellie’s comics, political cartoons and drawings. Ipellie’s ink drawing Self-Portrait: Inverse Ten Commandments (1993) is shown front centre. Photo by Karen Asher.