Title: These Tiny Helpers
Artist: Dee Barsy
Dates: September 6 to October 26, 2019
Opening reception: September 6 at 8-11pm (open for viewing earlier for First Friday at 5pm)
For this solo exhibition, Dee has transformed the gallery space into an immersive mural that features her unique visual language. This language is distinguished by her iconic blue background, her bright and contrasting colour palette, and her rhythmic lines and shapes. For this site-specific artwork, Dee has created abstract representations of various arachnids and insects that are native to the Manitoba area. These species include the Monarch Butterfly, the Red-Belted Bumblebee, the Field Cricket, the Common Green Darner Dragonfly, the Nine-Spotted Ladybug, the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, the Jewel Spider, the Water Scorpion, and the Giant Water Bug.
These tiny helpers play an essential role in the rhythms of the natural environment. For example: some insect species make contributions to the food system as natural prey for predatory amphibians and fish. Some predatory insect species regulate the populations of other insect species and some insect species assist with the decomposition cycle and the creation of fertile soil. Through this art project, Dee reflects on cyclical patterns, seasonal transformation, and the notion of interconnection. This artwork symbolizes the significance of our individual actions within the broader perspective of our social relationships and our communities.
Dee is a local painter and Visual Arts Facilitator. In 2013, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Manitoba. In 2016, she completed the Indigenous Women in Leadership course at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Dee is involved with local and national youth-serving organizations such as Winnipeg-based Graffiti Art Programming Inc. and Montreal-based N’we Jinan.
In September 2017, Dee was commissioned to create a painting and mural for the INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The exhibition ran through April 2018 and featured the work of 29 emerging to established contemporary Indigenous artists from across Canada.
Dee’s work is included in the Global Affairs Visual Art Collection, the collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and many private collections. Additionally, Dee’s artwork is showcased locally and internationally at Blueprint Inc., Johnston Group, and the Consulate General of Canada in New York and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York.
Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery acknowledges the support, throughout the year, of our friends, volunteers, community and all our relations, NCI FM, the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts. ~Miigwetch/ Hai Hai/ Ekosi / Merci/ Thank you