THE BRIDGE ARTIST PROJECTS
As audiences stroll across the bridge they will have the opportunity to interact with works created by professional and emerging artists from the Fredericton region. Each artist or group of artists is interrogating, exploring and celebrating a different moment in our shared history through their own medium, be it music, film, dance, theatre, visual art, performance art or poetry. The Bridge Project is proud to be working with Fredericton's arts community and offering this space for artists of diverse backgrounds and mediums to share their work.
'First Contact' by Natalie Sappier and Abby Paige
NATALIE SAPPIER-SAMAQANI is a Wolastoqiyik visual and performing artist from Tobique First Nation. ABBY PAIGE is a writer and performer, the descendant of French and English settlers of Turtle Island. For The Bridge, they will meet above the waters of the Wolastoq and under the shadow of history to create an original, improvised performance. Their collaboration will explore moments of encounter, exchange, witness, reconciliation, and healing. “First contact” is the term anthropologists use to describe the meeting of two cultures previously unaware of one another. Drawing from personal and official histories, the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and other sources, they will search for what it means to hear, see, know, and communicate with each other for the first time, four hundred years after their peoples first met.
Scenes by Ryan Griffith
Local playwright, and Artistic Producer of Next Folding Theatre Company, Ryan Griffith will be composing several short scenes about the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge. These scenes will be performed by past and present Theatre St. Thomas alumna.
'This is Us' by Kelly Baker
Fredericton, like many Canadian cities, struggles to adequately house all of its residents. Housing insecure residents rely on unstable housing sources such as rooming houses and homeless shelters. These less-than-ideal living situations nevertheless become sites of home, hope and community. THIS IS US, which features new work by Fredericton-based photographer KELLY BAKER, aims to show just that.
"Sakolikapuwicik - Ones (Standing Ones)" by Danielle Hogan
This textile piece created by DANIELLE HOGAN honours the accomplishments of the Wolastoqiyik senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, whose actions affected not only on the lives of Indigenous New Brunswickers but, in fact, innumerable Canadians. In 1979, on behalf of Indigenous women and children, Lovelace Nicholas brought her case of discrimination against the Canadian Government to United Nations Human Rights Committee. Six years later, in 1985, she succeeded in forcing Parliament to revoke a discriminatory and sexist section of the Indian Act that deprived women marrying non-Aboriginals to lose their official status and, deprived their children of their status also. Hogan is indebted to Wolastoqiyik elder Imelda Perley for her generous guidance on this work.
'Watermark' by Ian LeTourneau
Experience a poem written by Fredericton Cultural Laureate, IAN LETOURNEAU, that interacts with public art that already exists near the river (Gerald Beaulieu’s installation of Watermark). In this poem, he wanted the tributaries of language, heritage, historical records, and myth to converge into a river of words that blend the past and present. The river is an ever-changing entity, and it reflects the change in all of us from day to day, not unlike how the seasons change from Winter to Spring while we are preoccupied with the yearly threat of flooding.
'The Lovely Bones' by Rosey Peterson
This exhibition is a collection of animal skulls from across Eastern Canada. Donated from hunters, farmers, and explorers, each one has its own story. All the pieces are painted by artist ROSEY PETERSON and attempt to explore the relationship that we have with animals in this country. We began as hunters and trappers, and evolved into farmers. As our country grows and the wilderness decreases, we sometimes find that the animals come to us. This collection represents all three timeframes that humans have interacted with the animals of our country.
'Querencia by Miguelina Izaguirre
A place where one feels safe, a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn. A poetic reflection on some of the sensations an individual goes through as an immigrant, the feeling of being torn between ‘querencia’ to the place of origin and the need to live or survive in the present. Even when each immigrant has had different motives or been pushed by different circumstances to move to another place, there are common points that unite them, one of them being the body. The body is the only property owned as a warehouse of experiences and memories that conform to the identity and tries to accommodate, establish and adjust to a new home territory. This piece was created and performed by VERONICA MARTINEZ, ROXANA CARDENAS, NATALIA SOLANO, OSCAR SOLANO and MIGUELINA IZAGUIRRE.
Out of the Water/Off My Tongue' by Rudi Aker
A textile and language based installation, created by RUDI AKER aiming to bring awareness to the correlation of the of language loss in Wolastoqiyik communities and the diminished salmon population in the Wolastoq.
Davidson will sketch with acrylic pen and brush on canvas the activities of the public, and some of the preformers, as they experience The Bridge Project. What will be produced will show the diversity of the public as they see him paint and the art progress, as they pass, or stand, in the area.This project is based on the idea that the sum total of the 150 years of history is today, and one way to record today is to record what is happening in this event on the Bridge as artists and audience experience this event.
'Stinky Mill Making Stuff' by Penelope Stevens
PENELOPE STEVENS is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Fredericton. When she’s not playing rock music, you can usually find her at Shiftwork Studio, carving toothbrushes, making zines, or occasionally taxidermy-ing mice. Stevens’ piece is an ode to the antiquated industries of New Brunswick, drawing on nostalgia and the childlike wonder of growing up in a mill town
'Kateri' by Mariah Sockabasin
This creation by MARIAH SOCKABASIN, is a leather deer and moose hide dress inspired by Kateri Tekakwitha, a Roman Catholic saint who was an Algonquin-Mohawk woman. She was canonized in 2012, some see her as a connection to the worst aspects of colonialism, some see her as a light for our people. Putting aside religion and focusing this project on the young woman who probably felt divided between two worlds, torn between her roots and conforming to a new world. Kateri; a young woman, so young, wise, healer, friend, skilled at leather work, basketry, enjoyed collecting produce and preparing wild game, refused to marry – Lily of the Valley.
The Coop CORPS
Using text gathered from public conversations held during their residency through the Fredericton Arts Alliance, the coop company members will create short dynamic movement pieces that will be turned into a longer work of physical theatre. Who are we? Where do we come from? And where are we going? These are the questions the coop artists will pose to the public and that will be the catalyst for the physical theatre work that is generated.
'Unceded Red Territory' by Possesom
Nipahtuwet Naka Wespahtuwet Possesom is a Wolastoq performance artist. He is a member of the Wabanaki Grass Dance Society, and a keeper of traditional knowledge. He is also an accomplished champion dancer, who has toured all through North America.This project is a reminder of the consistent fact that the city of Fredericton is built and exists on unceded Wolastoq territory. As the artists move through space and time, they tie off secret strips of red cloth, the same which they use to signify ceremonial areas. The dancers are from the Wabanaki Society of Grass Dancers who serve their people as "the ones who go first the ones who prepare sacred space." They are modern people living in the new, and holding their traditions in a modern space. These people have been here since time immemorial and through the thousands of years of their existence their spirit has stayed strong a testament of the power of being part of the homeland that the river provides.
'National Symbol' by Sylvette Fortin
Did you know that the beaver has been a national symbol since 1975? In many ways artist SYLVETTE FORTIN relates to this beautiful creature. By using a variety of used and new fabric, Fortin celebrates this wonderful animal and recreates its world. A beaver lodge built with an old quilt, bringing back fond memories of a blanket fort from childhood. Fortin also wanted to pay homage to the hard work of her predecessors, the Acadians, represented by turning old wool sweaters into logs. Like the beaver, they were experts at using what materials were available to build their homes, and in doing so laid the foundation for Fortin’s future.
As trade with colonists and fur traders increased, Indigenous people spent more and more time creating items for the trade market, which took time away from their own traditional seasonal preparations. Examples of this include; fine ribbons, and fabrics, European beads and jewellery, and alcohol. For the duration of the Bridge event, TARA FRANCIS will be creating small porcupine quill examples of some of these trade items, using the traditional Mi’k maq technique of quill insertion on birch bark.
Readings by Wolf Tree Writers
The Wolftree Writers have been meeting for 26 years. While on The Bridge, they will read texts written by members past and present, on the subject of their pasts – poems about oneroom schoolhouses, growing up in rural NB, a memoir of Great-Aunt Bessie (1849-1937). Members participating include SHARI ANDREWS, VIRGINIA BJERKELUND, KATHY MAC AND JANET PATCH.
'Pierre Trudeau' by Matthew LeBlanc
MATT LEBLANC is a fourth year student pursuing double honours in Political Science and Great Books at St. Thomas University. In late 2015 Matt played the part of Pierre Elliott Trudeau in TST’s production of Video Cabaret’s Trudeau & the FLQ. The theatrical style merges political history with dramatic clown makeup, exhibiting the faux persona that political leaders adopt in the public realm. The face paint hyper-amplifies the slightest change in facial expressions, mirroring the effect of modern news cameras focusing so closely on politicians’ faces during speeches. Matt will be reanimating Pierre Elliott Trudeau for the Bridge Project by reading select monologues, speeches and essays spoken or written throughout his life. Reflecting Canada’s 150th requires recollecting the monumental and polarizing impact that P.E.T. had on constitutionalism, bilingualism, multiculturalism, Québec separatism, and classical liberalism applied to the Canadian context.
'Family Tree' by Esther Soucoup
ESTHER HELEN SOUCOUP is a transgender artist from St. Stephen New Brunswick. They came to Fredericton to pursue a degree in English with a concentration in Drama through St. Thomas University. Family Tree aims to show that LGBTQ communities within New Brunswick have roots here, but they’ve been ripped from the dirt and scattered. When thinking about history of culture there are always pieces missing. Esther wanted to look at what specific pieces were missing, why they are missing, and what might have happened to the queer history we don’t read about in the text books at school?
'LINGUA FRANCA spoken here' by Jennifer Lee
Lingua franca is a term for the language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different, for example English is currently considered an international lingua franca. Artist JENNIFER LEE invites you to join her interactive piece to disrupt our current lingua franca, English. New Brunswick, Canada is a superb site for this piece, because it is officially "bilingual", yet this ironically does not capture the languages spoken in this territory by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before colonization occurred.
'Sacred Waters' by Amanda Reid
In traditional jingle dress, AMANDA REID will perform a dance (that will include smudging and offering) in prayer to communicate the sacredness of water for Indigenous peoples across Canada. Throughout Canadian history, and more recently in New Brunswick, Indigenous peoples have defended water with the recognition that it is necessary for life. It presents a common ground for Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike. The Wolastoqiyik have an inseparable relationship with the Wolastoq (the river that the Bridge crosses). It is requested that pictures are not taken during the performance, but can be taken with the dancer before or after.
'Regrets' by Julietta McGovern
Regrets is a visual meditation on the personal and collective mistakes and missteps we have experienced in the past 150 years. Created in collaboration with Canadian Historians, Regrets presents moments where time reveals where we were on the wrong side of history. In review of these moments we can pause to reflect and ultimately do better when we step forward. REGRETS provides space for personal observation. In reading the mistakes of history, the viewer is challenged by empty spaces to write in personal mistakes and commit themselves to move forward in a more positive way.
Katie J. Augustine
The art and practice of making ash baskets is a large piece of the history of the indigenous culture of the area. Each material used in building the ash baskets has a purpose and contributes to the final outcome of the product. As visitors to the bridge walk along, they will have the opportunity to add to the basket. Much like the ash; we all play a part, have a purpose, have a voice and contribute to society.
'Dr. Priestman's Attempt' by Jon Holt
Artist Jon Holt will be recreating the moment in Fredericton's history, when Dr. Priestman attempted to save two boys from drowning who had fallen into the Wolastoq, however he was able unable to save the boys and lost his life in the process. Holt enjoys creating representations of people, both living and deceased, in miniature size from Polyclay. He hopes to do this sad piece of Fredericton history justice.
'Slaves No More' by Kelli Wray and Clyde A. Wray
This is a piece created by KELLI and CLYDE WRAY about the arrival of Black Loyalists and Settlers into New Brunswick who found their freedom and independence, their home on Canadian soil. Through dance and spoken original poetry, they are exploring an important part of our history and cultural diversity.
'Kinap' by Carly Sappier
CARLY SAPPIER is an aspiring filmmaker from Wolastokuk, Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. Currently Sappier is about to begin her 3rd year at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, enrolled in a competitive film program. Kinap (2015) is a collaboration between first year filmmakers at Simon Fraser University (Carly Sappier & Gordon Wong). Written and Directed by Carly Sappier, she explores the claustrophobic atmosphere inspired from a scene in We Were Children (2012) directed by Tim Wolochatiuk. The young warrior in Kinap is held captive in a dirty closet hidden away in the basement of a priest's rectory. Kinap represents the children who have gone through the abuse and assimilation in the residential school system.
'Rainbow Warrior' by Angela Beek
The prophecy of the rainbow warrior is the inspiration behind this piece. “When the earth is ravaged, and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come to earth from many colors, classes, and creeds and who, by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again.” The present state of the world is worrisome, scary, enraging and sad. However, ANGELA BEEK believes that there are rainbow warriors here already and many more are waking up to help heal and stand to protect our brothers and sisters and Mother Earth.