Nadia Myre: Needle Works

December 5, 2013 – February 23, 2014

Nadia Myre, from the series Meditations on Black, 2012, digital print, 112 x 112 cm. Courtesy of Nadia Myre and Art Mûr, Montréal.

Nadia Myre
Needle Works
December 5 to February 23, 2014
Janice Laking Gallery and Molson Community Gallery

Nadia Myre is a Montréal-based artist of Algonquin heritage whose work examines complex issues of history, memory, identity and repatriation. Needle Works is a thematic survey that features works from 1997 to the present, highlighting beadwork, stitching and sutures as strategies fundamental to Myre’s practice.

With a needle and thread, Myre creates powerful and moving works that mine territories of loss and healing and reconcile disparate aspects of experience and identity. In Everything I Know About Love (2004), Myre externalizes her inner wounds with a scar-like form that stretches across an expanse of raw canvas. Here, the artwork becomes a space to heal. Similarly, in her 2010 series Scarscapes, Myre renders bodily scars in symbolic abstract patterns. Woven on a loom, these intimate beaded works are then digitally scanned and printed as monumental, pristine images. The juxtaposition of the flat, impersonal digital prints with the intricate, hand-made originals prompts us to slow down and reconsider real-world objects and the histories embedded within them. In a more recent series, Meditations on Black (2012), Myre presents large-scale prints of textured beaded works in sombre blues, blacks and greys. Hand-stitched in an intuitive, organic manner that Myre likens to painting, these circular forms radiate a meditative, regenerative energy. Again, through the process of digital scanning and magnification, the beaded works are distilled to a smooth two-dimensional surface and removed from the realm of objecthood.

Nadia Myre is a visual artist from Québec and an Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg. She received a degree in Fine Arts from the Emily Carr School of Art in 1997 and a Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montréal in 2002. Her work has been widely exhibited, with solo shows in New York, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montréal, Kingston and Vancouver. In 2011, Éditions Art Mûr published En[counter]s, a bilingual monograph surveying Myre’s work, in collaboration with the Carleton University Art Gallery and the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides. Myre participated in the prestigious Sydney Biennial in 2012 and was given a prominent commission for Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada in 2013. Her work appears in numerous public collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, National Gallery of Canada, Smithsonian Institute and the National Museum of the American Indian. Myre is represented by Art Mûr. She lives and works in Montréal.

Needle Works is accompanied by a publication with an essay by Colette Tougas, originally published in En[counter]s in French, and has been translated into English by Tougas for this presentation.