By Cassandra Northrup, Marketing Assistant
Details: Photograph of St. Paul’s Residential School in Cardston, Alberta
This year The Works Art & Design Festival is displaying 51 exhibits. One of the exhibits that I am especially interested in is an installation by Dawn Marie Marchand titled a place to hang your stories.
Marchand’s installation is an extension of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She is offering an opportunity for those affected by Alberta’s Indian Residential Schools to have their voices heard. As you walk through the installation, you see paper tiles all along the walls that hold the stories and experiences of survivors and family of survivors of the Residential Schools. There is an area of Marchand’s installation where a child sized desk is set up. This desk is meant to represent just how small the Aboriginal children were when they were taken from their homes and sent to the schools. There is also a section of the installation that has a blackboard for those who have experienced Marchand’s work to be able to express how it makes them feel or to write about their own stories related to the Residential Schools. With her installation, Marchand is aiming to raise awareness about the systemic oppression that occurred for hundreds of years and plays such a big part in Canada’s history. She is hoping that her installation will provide a kind of healing for those who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the Residential Schools.
I know that Marchand’s installation will be sure to get people talking, so I am interested to see what sort of impact will take place on the patrons who visit her installation.
Marchand’s installation can be found in the Big Tent on Churchill Square. Find out more here: http://www.theworks.ab.ca/festival-exhibits/