Born Celestial curated by Alex Jacobs-Blum
By using storytelling to collapse the future into the present, Born Celestial imagines unearthed futures beyond settler colonialism where Indigenous knowledge systems thrive. Born Celestial embodies futurities, drawing from human and other-than-human relations, community and familial knowledge, star systems, and Creation stories. Empowering a (re)connection to self and an uplifting of community, Born Celestial inspires healing and hopeful pathways for the seven generations to come.
Artists Danielle Boissonneau, Kaya Joan, Natalie King, Nicole Neidhardt, Celeste Pedri-Spade, and Chyler Sewell access love, memory and knowledge from ancestor relatives unbound by material form and linear notions of space and time. Navigating between worlds and constellations, the artists activate the dreams of ancestors, contemporary kin, and future relatives in a present temporality.
In this triptych, Natalie King address kinship as a various state(s) of being or relationships to being.
In ‘Like a hawk silently soaring over the Don Valley’ King explores kinship systems with family and ancestors who have passed on, how their spirit is a part of us, and how when we silent the mind, we provide a door for them to communicate with us and the strengthening of relationship we still have with those people, how these relationships continue well beyond their existence in the physical plane. The sacred fire is a door to relations, we carry their memory with us.
In Red is Love, King is placing importance on the act of belonging - how relationships are so significant to kinship practices, how many acts of kinship exist beyond the immediate family, and the importance of an external community. Beads twist and join, in the image, the figures hold one another, seeming to come from the same body, their hair connecting, framing the piece. King is placing importance on the act of belonging - how relationships are so significant to kinship practices, how many acts of kinship exist beyond the immediate family, and the importance of an external community.
In Ancestor Signal, King imagines past ancestors in communion, entering a conversation with relations. This work is about Anishinaabe futurisms. Standing with past and present Anishinaabe artists. This piece is about creative sovereignty and our rights as Anishinaabe peoples to self-governance, this piece is also about love. The love we have for one another, the realities of our lived experiences within the violence of colonialism but more that just this, also our relationship to artmaking to tell our stories and envision futures.
The artist would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council for the creations of these paintings.