Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton
Calling Stones (Conversations) presents a new body of work by Alberta artist Faye HeavyShield. Driven and inspired by her memories, her family and her community, HeavyShield’s works are often composed of circles, spirals, grids and lines, recalling the bonds of families and the gathering of communities.
The work in this exhibition was inspired by the artist’s visits to the Majorville Medicine Wheel (Iniskim Umaapi) in southern Alberta and the stories of her ancestors that are rooted there. An important centre of traditional ceremony and worship, Iniskim Umaapi has been continuously used for over 4,500 years, making+it one of the oldest religious monuments in the world. Drawing from her responses to this site, its history and her own heritage, HeavyShield’s work provides both a personal and conceptual connection to the past, linking generations of Indigenous peoples to the present lives of the Kainai people.
My art is a reflection of my environment and personal history as lived in the physical geography of southern Alberta with its prairie grass, river coulees, and wind and an upbringing in the Kainai community (with a childhood stint in the Catholic residential school system). The past, present and imagined make up the vocabulary used to realize my thoughts and ideas; responses and references to the body, land, language.
– Faye HeavyShield