Exhibit review: “How the Sky Carries the Sun”

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The Sky Vest: a work of art that will keep your tummy warm Jorah Bright

Art galleries: the perfect place for art lovers to go out and admire art at their own leisure. A fun place to go with your art loving friends without the stress of an escape room or the long lines of a movie theatre.

The Art Gallery of Regina will be hosting an exhibit called How the Sky Carries the Sun by Katherine Boyer, a Métis/Settler artist who is originally from Regina but currently lives in Winnipeg. Boyer works with textile arts and other handmade methods like beadwork and woodworking. Through her art, Boyer works with her own history and family stories.

Boyer’s work has been featured in other Regina galleries, such the Slate Fine Art Gallery in 2016 and the Dunlop Art Gallery in 2015 and 2016. The SaskCulture website describes How the Sky Carries the Sun as being just like the artist herself: “nothing in this exhibition is just one thing.” The exhibit is full of different artistic mediums such as “[t]extiles and roof trusses, botanical silhouettes, a cloudy sky rendered in seed beads, and hooked rugs.”

Through How the Sky Carries the Sun, Boyer explores “beyond the artist’s complex and seemingly dichotomous identity (Métis and White settler). The exhibit takes the duality of Boyer’s identity and translates it into “the relationship between the sun and the sky.” Through the artwork and her art practice, Boyer asks herself “Am I the sky or am I the sun?”

I had the opportunity to visit the Art Gallery of Regina and see Boyer’s work in person. How the Sky Carries the Sun is a beautiful exhibit; its very presence fills the large space it takes up. The colours complement each other perfectly and the use of the wood boxes the items came in creates a flow throughout the entire room.

One of my favourite pieces in the exhibit was called Queer Hometown Horizon. It’s a long, serpentine orange rug that rests on the wall above a long OSB crate. The rug’s colours were stunning, and the yellow on the outside blended into the orange perfectly. In her artist statement, Boyer describes the rug as “reveal[ing] the shape of a formative place from my youth. A horizon line that wraps upon itself and contorts around the urban features of my hometown neighbourhood, it reinterprets memories and experiences that were once benign but might reveal a young queer experience.” Another one of my favourites was a twisted piece of wood placed on a small pedestal. It was fascinating to see how the ends were knotted together.

My final favourite piece was The Sky Vest. It’s a beautiful piece of beadwork. Every detail is precise in its location and its design. The beadwork twists and turns throughout the vest creating the imagery of a moving sky. The grey and white clouds feel like they’re floating above the sky. The brown pieces complement the blue sky in colour and design. In her artist statement, Boyer says “I created The Sky Vest over the span of a year and fitted it with exacting precision to my own body. The Sky Vest materially connects my body, and the skies of places that were formative to understanding myself.”

And there’s even more for you to see at the Art Gallery of Regina. I won’t spoil all of it, but I promise that it is all beautiful. You can visit the exhibit from January 13 to March 13.

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