Featuring the art of Barry Ace, Coalesce is a fusion of distinct Anishinaabeg aesthetics of the Great Lakes region with refuse from Western society’s technological and digital age in order to intentionally shift an object’s materiality and its accepted paradigm within the physical world.
It is through the integration and juxtaposition of recognizable materials used in the making of Anishinaabeg material culture, such as glass beads and porcupine quills, with new-found materials, such as electronic components (capacitors and resistors), that this body of work disproves any notion of Anishinaabeg cultural stasis. Coalesce demonstrates the continuum of Anishinaabeg innovation and expression by making use of disparate materials that knowingly coalesce and segue seamlessly into contemporary Anishinaabeg artistic tradition and material culture.
About the authors
Barry Ace is an Anishnaabe (Odawa) visual artist, writer, and educator who lives in Ottawa. A band member of M’Chigeeng First Nation in Manitoulin Island, his mixed media, assemblage, and textile works draw from various aspects of Anishnaabeg culture to explore cultural continuity and the confluence of the historical and contemporary. Ace has exhibited his works in important international venues, including the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York, the Nordamerika Native Museum in Zurich, and the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.
Suzanne Luke is the Curator of the Robert Langen Art Gallery at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Armand Garnet Ruffo's work is strongly influenced by his Ojibway heritage. His first poetry collection, Opening in the Sky, was published in 1994 (Theytus Books). His work has also appeared in such anthologies as Looking at the Words of Our People (Theytus Books), Voices of The First Nations (McGraw Hill Ryerson), and Native Literature in Canada (Oxford University Press) as well as numerous literary journals including Dandelion, CVII, and Absinthe. In addition to his numerous publication credits, Ruffo has written several plays.Born in northern Ontario, at the Biscotasing where Grey Owl lived, Ruffo grew up with a photo of his uncle Jimmy and Archie Belaney hanging on his wall - Archie boarded at Ruffo's grandmother's. Since then, Ruffo has travelled extensively throughout Europe, North Africa, and South America. He has worked as a harvester of wild rice, journalist, editor, civil servant, and teacher. Ruffo has studied at York University, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Windsor. He now makes his home in Ottawa, where he is a lecturer and associate director of the Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture at Carleton University.