Quinn Hopkins: Stellar Narratives at Evergreen Brick Works

Quinn Hopkins, Stellar Narratives: An Urban Indigenous Odyssey, 2024

Quinn Hopkins
Stellar Narratives: An Urban Indigenous Odyssey

June 3, 2024 – June 4, 2025
Koerner Gardens, Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto

Stellar Narratives: An Urban Indigenous Odyssey bridges the gap between Anishinaabe night sky stories and the city. With each season, a new chapter unfolds through augmented reality, showcasing the constellations that have guided Anishinaabe wisdom for generations. This AR experience is a new way of sharing stories, connecting us to the oral traditions that have long shaped indigenous knowledge.

Set against both cityscapes and natural landscapes, the artwork invites urban indigenous people to look up and rediscover the ancestral stories etched in the stars above them. It is a reminder that the wisdom of the land is still with us, even in the heart of the city. Hopkins’s work is a creative pathway back to these teachings, making the ancient art of storytelling interactive and accessible, helping us remember and return to the land’s deep knowledge through the shared experience of art.

Ancestral Echoes

Indigenous Languages hold the First Knowledges of these Lands.

Our languages connect us to place in profound, indescribable ways. Our words provide guidance, understanding of the land and of our coexistence through intricate and interconnected relationships with the worlds around us.

zhaagnaashiikaang

Settler colonialism has intruded upon and disrupted these interwoven relationships. cutting reckless paths through our lands, our waterways, our sustenance, our culture, our families, our languages, and our ancestors as it attempted to erase our presence.

Indigenous public art can change settler perception of place, it serves as a reminder of our ancestral connection to these lands and silently shouts…

WE. ARE. STILL. HERE.

In the 2024 unveiling of Stellar Narratives: An Urban Indigenous Odyssey, Quinn Hopkins joins esteemed Indigenous artists: Duane Linklater, Rita Letendre, Tannis Nielsen, Laura Grier and Logan MacDonald in the collection of Indigenous public artworks hosted by Evergreen Brick Works. Hopkins raises the bar for public art with this work through the addition of Augmented Reality (AR), a new media practice which looks to revolutionize the way we perceive place and how we learn. AR embodies the viewer, offering a visual conduit by which an artwork/site can be experienced through braiding the real world, with the digital. The sky’s the limit for the future of AR-based Indigenous placemaking interventions that tussle with the public’s perception of site through the continued (re)Indigenization of our lands. Hopkins work contributes to this relatively new and important discourse, he’s part of a forward-thinking generation of Indigenous artists harnessing the power of AR to literally,

CHANGE. THE. LANDSCAPE.

In Stellar Narratives, Hopkins asserts and brings forth Anishnaabe Star Knowledge in this dynamic, seasonally changing public artwork. As an Anishinaabe-based project, curator Alexis Nanibush-Pamajewong responds to Hopkins’s work by speaking on the narrative and connection to the anang aki (star world). Living in Tkarón:to as an urban Anishnaabe artist and curator, Nanibush-Pamajewong recalls the energy and love of the stars in the following text:

anang aki

as Nishnaabeg, anangoog speak to us

they tell us stories, they connect us, they teach us, they guide us

but we also speak to them.

reciprocity.

the anangoog needs us just as much as we need them. we cannot exist without them.
our world, Turtle Island, depends on their light
they rely on our unpolluted light
our voice and presence

we must look at the sky
acknowledge their existence

time immemorial

our stories
our clans
our cycles
exist because they do

they are our teachers
they let us know when our berries are ripe
when it’s time to hunt
to harvest
to return home
to cycle

to dream
to heal
to love

the constellations animate an abundance of celestial beings that are the spirits of the sky people

we embody their celestial energy
becoming        celestial        bodies

creating constellations within ourselves

we are in a continuous narration
we all share the same sky
in the bush
in the city

anangoog still exist and shine over us
they shine for us just as they did for our ancestors
anangoog
our first lights
our navigation

ancestral
anangoog
ancestral
stars

– Aylan Couchie and Alexis Nanibush-Pamajewong

Quinn Hopkins is an artist at the intersection of Urban Indigenous culture and new media, crafting a vibrant dialogue between Indigenous history, present urban life, and futuristic visions. Deeply rooted in Anishinaabe-Métis traditions with guidance from mentors like Nyle Miigizi Johnston, his work reimagines Indigenous iconography for the modern era. Showcased in venues such as the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and the University of Toronto’s Hart House, his art spans digital creations to immersive installations. Hopkins’s core ambition is to inspire future generations through storytelling that not only captivates but also educates and connects deeply with viewers. His commitment to blending traditional narratives with cutting-edge technology aims to create experiences that celebrate Indigenous culture while fostering a sense of community and understanding across diverse audiences. Through his art, Hopkins seeks to forge a path that honors heritage while embracing the possibilities of the future.

See Map to visit Stellar Narratives.

Stellar Narratives is supported by the City of Toronto, the Toronto Arts Council, and Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training.

Evergreen Brick Works
550 Bayview Avenue
Toronto Ontario M4W 3X8
Canada

Tel: 416-596-1495 x495
Email: info@evergreen.ca

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