Bonavista Biennale, a bi-annual month-long art event, adopts contemporary artwork as a lens to interpret the historical structures and cultural exchanges of the Northeast Atlantic coastline. Taking place August 17 - September 15, Bonavista Biennale 2019 — FLOE highlights the works of 21 leading Canadian, Indigenous, and international artists through a multi-site art experience across the Bonavista Peninsula’s coastal landscape. The sites of the Biennale trace the migratory and trade routes that connected North America to Europe — Ktaqmkuk, the Mi’kmaq word for Newfoundland, is traditional unceded Mi’kmaw territory, and FLOE (re)considers this history and the obscuring of cultures by systems of colonialism.
Artworks examine the relationships among the architecture of heritage buildings, dis-used community and commercial spaces, and the cultural structures that shape the outport communities. Participating artists are designing sculptural forms, repurposing existing spaces, and creating site-specific installations that offer commentary on the transporting of ideas, culture, and artifacts.
Viewers are encouraged to plan their own journey through the 100-kilometre loop, using a downloadable exhibition map as a guide to explore the sites and outport communities.
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Jordan Bennett, 2018 Sobey Art Award shortlist nominee, uses painting, sculpture, installation, and sound to explore land, language, the act of visiting and to challenge colonial perceptions of Indigenous histories. He will be painting a mural on the side of a former high school (which is now being converted to a wellness centre), visually expressing the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk cultures of Ktaqamkuk.
Ian Carr Harris & Yvonne Lammerich
Ian Carr-Harris and Yvonne Lammerich will create wooden models together that collapse time and space. Their two artworks navigate the waters between history, memory, and perception by exploring iconic symbols of exploration, trade, settlement, and identity.
Anna Hepler builds sculptures as a means to disrupt conventional form, using graphic gestures to blur shapes and materials. Her site-specific installation will use repurposed cardboard in the shape of a whale’s ribcage and latticed like a boat hull as a commentary on the role of water in connecting Atlantic communities.
Robert Hengeveld is an installation and media artist dedicated to exploring the boundaries between reality and fiction by manipulating familiar environments or common experiences. His artwork will represent the ghost of an unused heritage house, using a scale steel outline of a house treated with iridescent paint. The work will move to different sites on the Peninsula throughout the Biennale.
Bonavista Biennale — FLOE
Saturday, August 17 - Sunday, September 15
Bonavista Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador
Exhibition sites are located in outport communities: Duntara, King’s Cove, Knight’s Cove, Bonavista, Elliston, Port Union, Catalina, Champney’s West, Port Rexton, Trinity
The curators of Bonavista Biennale — FLOE are Catherine Beaudette (2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects), David Diviney (Art Gallery of Nova Scotia), and Matthew Hills (Grenfell Art Gallery, Memorial University of Newfoundland).
Jordan Bennett - Ktaqamkuk (NL)
Bob Blumer - USA
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons - Cuba/USA
Ian Carr-Harris + Yvonne Lammerich - Ontario
Kym Greeley - NL
Robert Hengeveld - Newfoundland and Labrador
Anna Hepler - USA
Jason Holley - Newfoundland and Labrador
Thaddeus Holownia - New Brunswick
Barb Hunt + Jane Walker Manitoba - Newfoundland and Labrador
Mark Igloliorte - Nunatsiavut (NL)
Wanda Koop - Manitoba
Meagan Musseau - Ktaqamkuk (NL)
Sean Patrick O’Brien - USA
Paulette Phillips - Nova Scotia
Meghan Price - Ontario
Jerry Ropson - Newfoundland and Labrador
Camille Turner - Ontario
D’Arcy Wilson - Atlantic Canada
Full artist bios are available with media kit.
Bonavista Biennale is a project of 2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects, a platform for temporary installations, exhibitions, and events on the Bonavista Peninsula of Newfoundland.
Bonavista Biennale 2019 receives support from Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, ArtsNL, Atlantic Lottery and from corporate and community partners including Fishers’ Loft, the Bell Group, Cox & Palmer, private foundations and individual donors.