Photography, sculpture, woven work, folk art, painting, found art, and more.
When Terry Graff and Alan Syliboy decided to investigate contemporary First Nations art in New Brunswick, they set out on a road trip. They visited the Mi'kmaq Nation communities at Ugpi'ganjig (Eel River Bar), Elsipogtog (Big Cove), and Metepenagiag (Red Bank) and Wolastoqey Nation communities at Negootkook (Tobique) and St. Mary's. The result was an exhibition and a book, a journal that captured the essence of the road trip through Graff's words and Syliboy's magnificent photographs.
The book captures their high-octane meeting with heavy metal musician Eric Miller; Robert Pictou's model boats and surprising works of art; their poignant visit with John Seca Labillois, who conjured a drum from the trunk of a 600-year-old tree; Peter Augustine's collection of antlers; the sacred site of the Sundance ceremony at Big Cove; and the story of the Brooks family's efforts to repatriate the 200-year-old Grandfather Akwiten canoe. Featuring the stories about and photographs of the work of 16 contemporary Wolastoqey and Mi'kmaq artists, Ekpahak brings together a synthesis of cultural traditions and artistic practise that today serves as expressions of self-determination.
Alan Syliboy is a Mi'kmaq artist from Millbrook First Nation who works in a variety of media. Educated at the Nova Scotia College of Fine Arts, Syliboy's work has been featured by the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Royal Canadian Mint, and at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. His art incorporates traditional Mi'kmaq storytelling techniques.
Pub date: June 21, 2011