Nanabozho’s Sisters

Works by Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, Dana Claxton, Thirza Cuthand, Rosalie Favell, Ursula Johnson, Shelley Niro, and Anna Tsouhlarakis
Curated by Wanda Nanibush
Organized by Dalhousie Art Gallery

February 9 – March 30, 2019
Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough

Rosalie Favell, Voyageur, 2003, from the Plain(s) Warrior Artist series. Inkjet print, 82.3 x 76.9 cm. Dalhousie Art Gallery permanent collection, gift of the artist, 2018.

Nanabozho’s Sisters is an exhibition that acknowledges the history of Indigenous women’s contribution to the deployment of humour, irony, and satire within the visual arts. Nanabozho is a ‘trickster’ figure in Anishinaabe stories who can transform into any gender or animal form, and we often find ourselves laughing at their actions or admiring their bravery. Through the Trickster spirit, all things that seem entrenched, held sacred, formalized, and organized can be disrupted, scattered, disorganized, and transformed. The Trickster spirit is released in this exhibition through the artistic strategies of masquerade, mimicry, parody, ironic reversals, comedic scenerios, anachronistic combinations, and satirical creations.

Spanning more than thirty years, Nanabozho’s Sisters presents work by artists who explore representation and self-representation of Indigenous women and culture. These works use the transformative power of humour to undermine, and create alternatives to, colonialist stereotypes, and to honour and empower Indigenous women’s bodies, in all their lived glory.


All programming is free and open to the public. For more information, see the DMG website.

Opening reception
Saturday, February 9
2 – 5 pm
Curatorial talk by Wanda Nanibush 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Free shuttle bus departs OCAD U (100 McCaul St) at 1:30 pm, to return at 5 pm, first come, first served

Artist talk by Ursula Johnson
Thursday, March 14
1 – 2 pm
BV340, Bladen WIng, U of T Scarborough
Part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, co-presented with the Department of Arts, Culture & Media, U of T Scarborough

Shelley Niro, The Rebel, 1987/2018. Photograph, hand tinted digital print, 32.8 x 47.3 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 11 am to 4 pm; Wednesday, 11 am to 8 pm; Saturday, 12 to 5 pm.
Admission is free. Open to the public. The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

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