On at the museum while I was there was an exhibition called Wanderlust. It had works by three artists who are Canadian, yet who live quite nomadic lifestyles and call several places home. The piece that caught my attention, pictured above, is by Jordan Bennett - a Newfoundland/Labrador artist who combines objects from popular and skate culture with an exploration into his Mi'kmaq heritage. I was struck by the simplicity of this piece. In the context of the textile museum, it feels at home with the permanent collection of centuries-old traditional pieces - relics of ancient cultures with equally ancient art practices. The catalogue tag on the shoe rienforces this image, yet the fact that the beading appears on a pair of throw-away skateboard sneakers sheds a contemporary light on this work and shows us that this culture is not so ancient after all.
For some very interesting reading about Native issues and popular culture this is one of my favourite blogs - Native Appropriations