Calls for Submission

Crossings @ SAW Gallery

A Performance Art Exchange. Ottawa-Belfast, 2010

June 17 - 20, 2010

Organized and presented by
Galerie SAW Gallery (Ottawa) + Bbeyond (Belfast)

ARTISTS Jackson 2bears (Victoria / Halifax), Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell (Belfast), Maria Hupfield (Vancouver), Sandra Johnston (Belfast), Alastair MacLennan (Belfast) + Skeena Reece (Vancouver)

CURATOR Christine Conley (Ottawa)

Crossings is an international exchange and performance art residency taking place in Ottawa and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Aboriginal Canadian artists will join with members of the Belfast-based Bbeyond performance art collective for a week of exchange and collaboration. Across geographical and cultural differences, these artists share practices conditioned by the effects of colonialism and recent political history that work toward agency and social transformation through the powerful immediacy of live art. Ottawa is a significant locale for such a crossing of paths, a site of parallel and intertwined histories of Native Peoples and Irish immigration. Site-specific public performances will take place at various locations in Ottawa between June 17 and 20 as well as a free workshop with renowned artist Alastair MacLennan. The Belfast residency is planned for October 2010.


Thursday, June 17

Sandra Johnston + Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell
Bytown Museum (1 Canal Lane, Ottawa)
5PM - 8:30PM

2-day performance workshop with Alastair MacLennan
Thursday: 10AM - 5PM, Studio B, Arts Court (2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa)
Friday: 10AM - 5PM, Rehearsal Hall A, National Arts Centre (53 Elgin Street, Ottawa)
[Admission is free, but space is limited to 15 participants. To register, please call (613) 236-6181.]

Saturday, June 19

Alastair MacLennan
SAW Outdoor Courtyard (67 Nicholas Street, Ottawa)
9AM - 6PM

Lady Moonrider: Time Traveller
Maria Hupfield
Outside the Canadian War Museum (1 Vimy Place, Ottawa)
2PM - 2:30PM

Round-table discussion
Speakers: Jackson 2bears, Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell, Maria Hupfield, Sandra Johnston, Alastair MacLennan + Skeena Reece
Moderated by Christine Conley (in English)
Club SAW (67 Nicholas Street, Ottawa)
7:30PM - 8:30PM

Talk by Guy Sioui Durand (Québec)
(in English and French)
Club SAW
9PM - 9:30PM

Iron Tomahawks: O Kanata
Jackson 2bears
Club SAW
9:30PM - 10:30PM

Reception and party
Music with DJ BEAR witness (Ottawa) + cash bar
Club SAW
10:30PM - 2AM

Sunday, June 20

Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell
SAW + various locations
2PM onward

Sandra Johnston
SAW + Arts Court (2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa)
4:30PM - 5:30PM

Prayer for Arrival
Skeena Reece
D’Arcy McGee’s Pub (44 Sparks Street, Ottawa)
8PM - 9PM


Jackson 2bears is a Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) multimedia artist based in Victoria, British Columbia; he will soon relocate to Halifax, Nova Scotia. He studied in the collaborative program at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and Sheridan College (BA 1999), and at the University of Victoria (MFA 2003). He is currently nearing completion of his PhD at the University of Victoria. He has created VJ performances for commissions and exhibitions across Canada, notably at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (Assume Nothing); the Indigenous Leadership Conference, University of Victoria; EMMEDIA, Calgary (Sonic Boom!); the Vancouver Art Gallery (How Soon is Now); InterAccess, Toronto (Electronic Shamanism), in 2009; Artengine, Ottawa (Electric Fields), in 2008; and the North American Indigenous Games, Cowichan, in 2008. He has also performed internationally in festivals and group exhibitions such as Digital Art Weeks, in Zurich, Switzerland. He is a co-founder of LiminaL Projects, an interdisciplinary artists’ collective (2002).

Sinéad Bhreathnach-Cashell is a Belfast-based artist who studied fine and applied art at the University of Ulster (BA 2007), where her dissertation was entitled “Play, Reception and Institution: Reassessing Strategies for Audiences and Practitioners through Play.” She also spent a year studying marketing, printmaking and philosophy at Centenary College, New Jersey, in the US (2006). She has participated in performance events in Belfast, Dublin, the UK, and most recently at the Open Art International Performance Festival in Beijing, China. She is the organizer and curator of “residence” with her sister Sighle in association with SHAC Housing Association, a founding member of “draw in” and Playgroup and a member of Bbeyond.

Guy Sioui Durand is Wendat (Huron) from Wendake, near Québec. A sociologist (Ph.D.) and social critic, he is active as a writer and independent curator in the field of Native art. He is co-founder of Inter, art actuel and Le Lieu, contemporary art centre (Québec).

Maria Hupfield is of Anishnaabe (Ojibway) heritage, a member of Wasauksing First Nation, in Ontario, and is based in Vancouver. She has an Honours BA in Art and Art History from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, and an MFA in Sculpture from York University. Her practice combines performance with photography and installation. Recent performance events include Museum Quality, with Merritt Johnson, at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colorado, and the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver (2008), and a solo performance at the Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival (M:ST) in Calgary (2005). Hupfield is currently Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University, where she teaches drawing and Aboriginal approaches to visual expression.

Sandra Johnston is a Belfast-based artist who studied at the Kent Institute of Art & Design, Canterbury (BA 1991) and the University of Ulster, Belfast (MFA 1992). Since 2001 she has taught at the University of Ulster, where she is Lecturer in Time Based and Mixed Media Art. In 2007-2008 she was Guest Professor at the Bauhaus University, Weimar, in the “Public Art and New Artistic Strategies Program.” She is presently on a three-year leave to pursue a PhD project, entitled “Beyond Reasonable Doubt— A cross-disciplinary investigation into concepts of doubt and risk taking, explored through consideration of improvisational art processes and systems of legal justice.” Johnston is a founding member of Belfast’s Catalyst Arts (1993-1995), a member of Bbeyond, and AGENCY, a collaborative project initiated in 2007 with Susanne Bosch (Belfast) and Marilyn Arsem (Boston). She has participated in performance events extensively in the UK, Europe, Israel and North America, and represented Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2005.

Alastair MacLennan is a key performance practitioner in the UK, whose work has been influential nationally and internationally. He was born in Blair Atholl, Scotland, and studied at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee (diploma 1965), the College of Education, Dundee (specialist art teachers certificate 1966) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA 1968). He under- took za-zen practice under the guidance of Joshu Sasaki Roshi, a Japanese Rinzai Zen Master. After teaching in Halifax (NSCAD) and Vancouver, he accepted a lectureship in 1975 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, at what is now the School of Fine Art, University of Ulster, where he taught until 2008. MacLennan is a founding member of Belfast’s Art and Research Exchange (1977), a member of Bbeyond performance collective, Belfast (2004), and the European performance group Black Market International since 1989. He represented Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1997. He is currently Professor Emeritus, University of Ulster, an Honorary Fellow of Dartington College of Art, Devon, England, and an Honorary Associate of the National Review of Live Art, Glasgow.

Skeena Reece is a Tsimshian/Gitksan and Cree multimedia artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied art at the Northwest Community College, Prince Rupert, and Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver (2005), moving on to training at The Banff Centre and grunt gallery as a Curatorial Practices Intern. She has participated in performance events across Canada including Nuit Blanche in Toronto (2009), and at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver (2008) and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC (2008); she recently took part in the Biennale of Sydney in Australia (2010). Reece is a singer and songwriter; her first collection of short stories and songs was released in 2010. She is active on the boards of groups working with Native youth through media arts (Redwire Magazine), is past director of the Indigenous Media Arts Group (2005-2007), and the founder of the Native Youth Artists Collective.

Crossings: A Performance Art Exchange. Ottawa-Belfast, 2010 is made possible by the support of the Aboriginal Arts Office and Visual Arts Section of the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council and the University of Ottawa’s Academic and Professional Development Fund. Partners include the Bytown Museum, the National Arts Centre, D'Arcy McGee's, Bread & Roses Bakery, Steam Whistle Brewing and SpaceMan Music.

Galerie SAW Gallery
67 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1N 7B9
Information : (613) 236-6181


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