Tracey-Mae Chambers: #HopeAndHealingCanada

Tracey-Mae Chambers

April 11 – June 26, 2022
Cambridge Art Galleries, Preston

Virtual Artist Talk: Wednesday, April 20, 7 pm on Zoom
Register here

The goal of #HopeAndHealingCanada is to broach the subject of decolonization. Since late July 2021, I have been building site-specific art installations across Ontario at residential school historical sites, cultural centres, museums, art galleries and other public spaces.

The installations are constructed indoors and outdoors with red acrylic yarn, which is strong and resilient. Red is the colour of blood, the colour of passion and of anger. It is the slur against Indigenous people and represents danger and power. It can also represent courage and love.

These installations are detailed and temporary. Once dismantled, the work is returned to me to be reworked and repurposed at another site. I want to illustrate the temporary nature of our lives, of our struggles and our achievements. The string represents the connectivity between each other and our environment as it will also not last forever.

Many (but not all) of these public spaces serve to present a colonial viewpoint and primarily speak about the settlers who arrived and lived here, but not the Indigenous people that were displaced along the way. The decolonization of such places is a ponderous task and must be shouldered collectively.

The discussion of reconciliation and decolonization is hard to start and harder still to maintain. Therefore, I am hoping to use my work to help bridge the gap between settlers and Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit people by creating art that is approachable and non-confrontational so we can start. As I am part Métis and European, I am conscious of the privilege my ‘whiteness’ affords me and bridging this gap is in fact a form of self-education and self-healing.

—Tracey-Mae Chambers

Tracey-Mae Chambers is a Métis artist and a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Her family is from, and some still reside in, the traditional Métis community in Sault Ste. Marie and Penetanguishene, Ontario. She is currently based in Hamilton, Ontario.

Image: Tracey-Mae Chambers, #HopeAndHealingCanada (installation detail for Cambridge Art Galleries, Preston, 2022), red yarn. Courtesy of the artist.

Cambridge Art Galleries | Idea Exchange
Preston Gallery
435 King Street East, Cambridge, Ontario
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Admission is free and all are welcome.

Cambridge Art Galleries | Idea Exchange presents contemporary art from two galleries in the City of Cambridge: Queen’s Square and Preston. We serve our regional and broader communities through the delivery of contemporary art programs that foster critical cultural dialogue. Our artistic activities engage, embrace, and empower people of all ages and abilities from diverse backgrounds.

Cambridge Art Galleries is situated on the traditional land of Indigenous peoples dating back countless generations. We recognize that it is part of the Haldimand Tract, the traditional land of the Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Media Contact:
Karly Boileau, Assistant Curator
519.621.0460 ext. 160