Kapwani Kiwanga, 2018 Sobey Art Award Winner, Opens Sunlight by Fireside: The Ash Annals

Visitors are invited to participate and explore gestures of giving and returning in new SAAG exhibition

Lethbridge, AB  – The Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) is pleased to announce its presentation of an exhibition by Canadian-born, Paris-based artist Kapwani Kiwanga, July 13 through September 15, 2019. 

As part of Sunlight by Fireside: The Ash Annals, Kiwanga creates opportunities for dialogue and sharing, inviting viewers to engage with her installation by handling the works in the gallery. By digging a hole on the grounds of the SAAG and moving the displaced soil into the gallery, Kiwanga asks visitors to repatriate the dirt, one bucket at a time:

“Take the ceramic tool with care.
Use it to carefully scoop some soil into the pail.
Put the lid on the pail.
Put the tool back on the shelf.
Exit the rear of the gallery to empty the pail’s content into the hole in the ground.
Return the pail to its original place, under the shelf.”The complex issues of current and historical colonization processes are at the core of Kapwani Kiwanga’s artistic practice. Kiwanga, who studied anthropology and comparative religion at McGill University, continues this querying of decolonial gestures in Sunlight by Fireside: The Ash Annals.

The ultimate aim of Kiwanga’s work is to help people reflect on the colonial experience as a whole, to explore the gesture of giving and returning in contrast to the dominant learned gesture of taking and seizing. Through the use of materials such as soil, ceramics, cloth, and light and shade, the artist addresses economic and social issues in relation to colonial acts of extraction and the exploitation of natural resources.

Initiated and circulated by the Musée d’art de Joliette.
Co-curated by Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre and Kristy Trinier.
Production assistance by Tanya Doody.

About the Southern Alberta Art Gallery

Located in the heart of downtown Lethbridge, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) offers dynamic, award winning contemporary art programming and exhibitions. The gallery’s park setting and proximity to local cafés and shops make it an excellent place to drop in and explore during a day’s outing. Its many programs include children’s art classes, cutting-edge exhibits, and expert lectures and artist presentations.