Old techniques, modern products featured at show

  • Jan. 24, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Snowshoes, hide tents, moccasins, cradles and other traditional items became the inspiration for modern furniture, clothing and lighting designs made 23 aboriginal artists from three eastern Quebec communities. The show, Migratory Passages, is the culmination of a six year project where traditional knowledge holders shared techniques with younger artisans. Haida Gwaii Museum director Nathalie Macfarlane explained that the exhibition, on display until March 4, was prompted by an observation that older people with the knowledge of how to make things in the traditional way were dying or leaving the remote communities of Odanak, Mashteuiatsh and Uashat mak Mani-Utenam. “The project brought forward ideas on how to manifest traditional practices and technologies into new objects,” she said. The participants from the three communities also spent time with industrial designers at a Quebec university, to find ways to transform these technologies into new products that could work in the marketplace. The results included a coffee table inspired by snow shoe making technology, a jewelled light fixture based on a drum design, a footstool made of beaded animal hide and a backpack inspired by the sewing techniques used to make Innu tents. Another byproduct was that participants went on a voyage of self discovery and came to a new understanding of their roots, said Ms Macfarlane. Some of the work in the show reflects these inner journeys, she said. Jean St. Onge, one of the artists, who along with two Chicoutimi-based curators came to help set up the show, produced a theatrical work that takes the audience on a journey with Tshakapesh, an Innu supernational being, as portrayed by an 8-foot marionette. A video of the piece is part of the show.

Just Posted

Wind project between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert moves forward once more

Naikun Wind Energy Group announced partnership with major offshore wind development company

Adverse weather forces ferry schedule change

Thursday’s Skidegate to Prince Rupert route affected

Coast Mountain College announces interim president

Ken Burt, current president and CEO, will say goodbye to CMNT come September

Queen Charlotte crackdown

RCMP target impaired driving amidst rising numbers of the offence

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read