Fair of Alternative Art in Sudbury 4
Three artists from the Debajehmujig Storytellers visual artists Josh Peltier, actor Jessica Wilde-Peltier and B-boy Curtis Kagige were invited by Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario (GNO) from May 6th to the 10th to create a new work of art as individual artists at this years’ Fair of Alternative Art in Sudbury (FAAS4). The fair took place in the Rainbow Centre Shopping Mall in Sudbury Ontario with the theme “Not For Sale”. All 30 artists were each given a shopping cart to create their art installations.
Josh Peltier suspended his shopping cart from the ceiling in the centre of the mall and used natural birch collected from the outskirts of Sudbury. None of the Birch we’re harmed during this process as the birch bark had been taken from existing dead trees and the branches were from larger trees that will still survive. Pouring out from the shopping cart, like falls of some sort, the birch limbs splashed out into a small birch “puddle” using woven bark. “While working on my piece, I wanted to do something that meant something meaning full to both the environment and myself. I picked the location almost in the centre of the mall to have the most impact so it can be seen by everyone and raise questions about what it is they’re consuming. This experience lead to a lot of interesting discussions to viewers around the installation as I worked on the piece.”
Jessica Wilde-Peltier selected her location for the installation to be in the food court of the mall. She created two figures out of straw and plastic bags, an adult who is texting and an infant who is using a tablet that reads “Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.” -Cree Indian Prophecy. “It’s an image you see on a day to day basis and it’s happening everywhere. Instead of communicating with the person in front of you, you wait for their next Facebook status update. If you’re busy and your child is looking for attention, you give them a tablet or a cell phone to keep them occupied. When I was creating my piece a woman pushing her daughter in a stroller walked by texting and just happened to glance over and she said ‘thanks for the reminder’ and put her phone in her pocket” explains Jessica.
Curtis Kagige created a Pre-packaged FAAS toy by wrapping the entire shopping cart in plastic and using a blow dryer to shrink the plastic. “When I got to the mall, I just thought about how crazy consumerism is and how hard- core packaging merchandise has become. I also thought about childrens toys and how they never really last, always ending up in the dump, and how they find way more creative and simple ways using imagination to entertain themselves.”
Debajehmujig attended FAAS3 in 2012 as a group creation using clowns and the Global Savages. It was exciting for Josh, Jess and Curtis to explore and create independently.