enawendewin/relationship

Curated by William Kingfisher

Jun 19 - Dec 14, 2019

enawendewin/relationship looks to Anishinaabe ancestral gardens as an active participant in and provider of positive lessons for living in today’s world. In stories, Anishinaabe in the past designed their gardens so that each plant in the garden was considered in terms of how they provide something necessary for the whole of the garden, including how each one relates to those outside the garden, to the whole of the landscape, and other beings.

Such considerations supported the growth and survival of the garden while the Anishinaabe left to travel on the land; the garden needed to be strong and healthy until it was time to harvest as they depended on it to survive the winter. I use enawendewin as a practical organizing principle in my gardens today, but it can also provide important lessons for how we relate to each other, to plants, to the natural world, and other communities in our everyday living.

For this project, I am planting three gardens, one each at Artspace, the Mount Community Centre, and Curve Lake First Nation. Using these gardens as sites of learning and creation, four visiting artists, Lisa Myers, Ron Benner, David Deleary, and Anong Migwans Beam, will consider what the garden and enawendewin/relationship can do and mean in today’s world. Workshops and activities will be delivered throughout the summer and fall to involve the community in these discussions, lessons, and creations. An exhibition of work by Myers, Benner, Deleary, and Beam will open at Artspace on November 1, 2019.

Planting the garden at Artspace on June 19, 2019.
Photo Credit: Cameron Noble