I thought I would consider the end as a subject, and what better place to start. A place hard to imagine but yet, in the big picture, a certainty. – Edward Poitras
The coyote has been a re-occuring character in Edward Poitras’ work for some time. In this solo exhibition, the coyote is back, but he’s not alone. Individual coyotes and coyotes in transformation spring to life from bones and other materials. Their mutating forms mimic the endless transformation that we ourselves experience as we pass through various planes of existence.
A member of the George Gordon First Nation, Edward Poitras’ multi-dimensional artistic practice explores imaginative territories that extend beyond the borders of identity and location to consider the self in global terms.
In 13 Coyotes, Poitras’ first solo exhibition in a decade, the artist continues to explore imaginative territories, themes, issues and concepts that, in some cases, have spanned decades within his oeuvre. The works included in the exhibition are the result of many years of extensive research and contemplation. They represent an ongoing reworking of imagery and meanings that address a whole range of themes and issues which have evolved and proliferated throughout Poitras’ life on Turtle Island.
Since 1986, the coyote has been associated with the work of Edward Poitras both as an image and a persona. In this exhibition, the coyote re-appears, but he is not alone. Individual coyotes and coyotes in transformation spring to life from bones and other materials. Their mutating forms mimic the endless transformation that we ourselves experience as we pass through various planes of existence.
The coyotes’ transformation is also connected to Poitras’ contemplation of time. Non-western notions of time have inspired his parallel installation Tree, which takes into consideration ancient cultures and their “long count” calendars (one in particular which indicates December 21, 2012 as a key moment of transition and period of change). The work is about time and space, or rather the illusion of time and space.
In Poitras’ work, we are witness to the artist’s reconsiderations of our shared histories and entangled narratives. His work gives form to the continuous change that is our common reality.
Curated by: Michelle LaVallee, Assistant Curator, MacKenzie Art Gallery