Naadohbii (pronounced NAH-DOH-BEY) is from Anishinaabemowin language and translates as “to draw/seek water.” The name was gifted by Elder Dr. Mary Courchene. Featuring over 20 artists, including some newly commissioned pieces, Naadohbii: To Draw Water is tri-national, sharing interdisciplinary artwork from Turtle Island, Australia, and Aotearoa (New Zealand). This exhibition illustrates an axis of solidarity between Indigenous nations across the globe around environmental, political, and cultural traditions and interconnected relationships to water.
Women are traditional water carriers and givers of life. Indigenous peoples continue to be profoundly linked to water for physical and spiritual wellbeing; rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans have an impact on the health of global communities, and our relationship to the natural world. Water has become a pressing concern for the larger global community.
Naadohbii: To Draw Water considers the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, recognizing the power of art in enacting change. This exhibition contributed dialogue towards water and our changing environment from an Indigenous perspective and with an international scope. Our world is profoundly linked to water in all forms for human and ecological survival. Water is sacred. Water is life.
Curated by: Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art
With guest curators: Reuben Friend, Director, and Ioana Gordon-Smith, Curator, Pātaka Art + Museum, Wellington, New Zealand; and Kimberley Moulton, Senior Curator, South Eastern Aboriginal Collections, First Peoples Department, Melbourne Museum, Museums Victoria, Australia.
This gorgeous catalogue highlights the works featured in this exhibit and tells the story of how the exhibit came to be.
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