wâhkôhtowin is the Cree word for “kinship” or “the way in which we relate to each other.” For artist Carrie Allison, this concept serves as an artistic methodology and guiding principle. Heart River (2018), a beaded map of the Heart River, which runs through the artist’s Cree and Métis family territory, underscores essential relationships between traditional beading, water, and the land. The companion installation Connect/Contact(2017), uses flora harvested from the banks of the river to create a gathering of paper discs whose movements invite visitors to listen for what Carmen Robertson calls “the sounds of the watery embodiment of place.” Finally, Beaded Botanicals (2018-2019) features beaded sketches of endangered flora found in Mi’kma’ki, the territory in which Allison currently resides, presented alongside botany specimens borrowed from the Herbarium of the Nova Scotia Museum.
Carrie Allison is an Indigenous, mixed-ancestry visual artist born and raised on unceded and unsurrendered Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC), with roots in High Prairie, Alberta. Situated in K’jipuktuk since 2010, Allison’s practice responds to her maternal Cree and Métis ancestry, thinking through intergenerational cultural loss and acts of reclaiming, resilience, resistance, and activism, as well as notions of allyship, kinship, and visiting. Her work is rooted in research and pedagogical discourses and seeks to reclaim, remember, recreate, and celebrate her ancestry through visual discussions. She looks to Indigenous, mixed-race, antiracist, anti-oppressive, feminist, and environmental theorists to critically examine the world around her. Allison holds an MFA, a BFA, and a BA in Art History from NSCAD University.
Curated by Emily Falvey