Locavore is the first public sculpture in Ottawa by an Indigenous woman artist
Carleton University celebrated today the installation of Locavore, a new bronze sculpture by Mary Anne Barkhouse. The sculpture, located outside Paterson Hall and the Ojigkwanong Aboriginal Centre, is the first public sculpture in Ottawa by an Indigenous woman artist.
“It was appropriate to place this sculpture in front of the Ojigkwanong Centre where it can be enjoyed by all as a celebration of arts and our vision at Carleton – both from within the centre and from the quad,” said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte.
Barkhouse’s work examines environmental concerns and Indigenous culture through the use of animal imagery. She plays with the “natural order” of things: animals that are seen as irrelevant or bothersome are given pride of place and nature is never subservient to culture.
Locavore sets a snowshoe hare and a Western coyote in close proximity to each other. These two species are closely associated in the boreal forest ecosystem, which occupies more than half of Canada’s land area and is of great ecological significance. Locavore inverts the predator-prey relationship, drawing attention to the delicate balance inherent to any complex ecosystem and pointing to the consequences of ignoring our own interdependence with the environment.
Locavore was purchased by Carleton University in 2015 with the generous support of Dr. Runte, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Canada Council for the Arts’ Acquisition Assistance Grants Program. It was originally commissioned by Corinna Ghaznavi, guest curator of the exhibition Human Nature, presented at CUAG from April 27 until Aug. 23, 2015.
“Thank you to Mary Anne for gracing the campus with your sly, thoughtful and playful sculpture,” said Sandra Dyck, director of the Carleton University Art Gallery. “And thank you to President Runte for your great personal generosity, your love of art and your moral support of this project and of the Carleton University Art Gallery.”
About Mary Anne Barkhouse:
Born in Vancouver, Mary Anne Barkhouse belongs to the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation. She is a descendant of a long line of internationally recognized Northwest Coast artists that includes Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James. Her work is included in such public collections as the National Gallery of Canada, Mendel Art Gallery, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Canada Council Art Bank, UBC Museum of Anthropology, and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Her public art installations are located at venues including the Canadian Museum of History, McMaster Museum of Art, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Western University, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, and Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.
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