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Form and Content, Wall Painting No. 4 - Rolande Souliere

Friday, September 6, 2019 to Friday, October 11, 2019

Forest City Gallery is pleased to present Rolande Souliere's solo exhibition, "Form and Content, Wall Painting No. 4", running September 6th - October 11th.

This exhibition marks the start of our fall programming, with an opening Sept 6th 7-9pm. An artist talk at the gallery will take place Sept 13th, 6:30-8pm.

Through the use of Aboriginal syllabics, Souliere uses the second Indigenous writing system to engage in ideas about systems and how they intersect with language, abstraction and Indigenous forms and culture in historical and contemporary art.

To the everyday observer, the wall painting may appear to be a conglomeration of simple geometric forms or some kind of visual representation of a secret code. In fact, the wall painting displayed on the gallery walls at Forest City Gallery are Aboriginal syllabics. A writing system created for the Ojibway, Cree and Inuit people by missionary James Evans in 1830 at Rice Lake, Ontario - with the assistance of Ojibway people.

Systems and codes are important elements in the construction and use of languages whether written, spoken or visual. In World War I and II, the Navajo language was used to help defeat the enemy. Abstract art uses a visual language comprised of shapes, forms, colour and line. Western artists like Theo Schoons (1915-1985) and Gordon Walters (1919-1995) appropriated Maori symbols in their well-known abstract works whereas Sol Lewitt (1928-2007) used systems to create his large scaled wall drawings comprising of squares, triangle and circles. Others created fictional alphabets that incorporated Indigenous words and mythology. Drawing upon this, Souliere uses the Ojibway syllabics to emphasizes language is a system in which colonial world-views are shaped and expressed through contemporary art.

Text by Rolande Souliere Image: Lorraine Sainte Claire, Neone Int., Australia


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