In 2022, I developed a curatorial project that was presented at the Galerie d'art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen in Moncton, NB, from June to October 2022.
Addressing areas of knowledge conveyed by nature, the exhibition brought together the works of Christi Belcourt, Denis Taman Bradette, Laura Demers, Mariana Lafrance, Kaylee Meyer, Sylvie Pilotte and Laura St. Pierre.
The exhibition was also accompanied by a screening of films by Marjorie Beaucage, Katia Café-Fébrissy, and Thirza Cuthand, held on September 29. Other activities, such as a round-table discussion, online programming on VUCAVU, and various creative workshops were offered to the public throughout the course of the exhibition.
The word “paradise” is used nowadays to define natural environments of generous vegetation, teeming with life and beauty. We think of paradises as spaces that are free from human intervention. Now that there is no place left on earth that is not contaminated by human activity, artists are revisiting the idea of paradise in their own way, and the term is taking on new meanings in our imagination.
In her book Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer develops an ecological perspective that links ancient indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and plant teachings. Kimmerer argues that the human destruction of ecosystems is irreversible and that the only way forward is to reestablish a relationship of true reciprocity with nature by mourning the losses incurred by human exploitation. Only after accepting what we no longer have can we finally rebuild a new culture and a new vision of the place of human beings in the living world.
This exhibition reflects the idea of reciprocity put forward by Robin Wall Kimmerer by bringing together artwork by seven artists. Together, these pieces propose a diversity of dialogues with the environment and decentralized views of the place of human beings within the biosphere.
Through their works, these artists invite us to rethink the place of humans in their environment and to imagine different ways of reconstructing the paradises of the future with the remains of a fragmented nature. The found objects of paradise are treasures salvaged amidst devastation to help us discover ways of fostering ecological resilience.
 Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, Second hardcover, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed Editions, 2020, p. 288 (ebook).
Many thanks to the Department or Tourism, Heritage and Culture of NB and the Ontario Arts Council. The curator recognizes the support of the curatorial incubator of l’Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones, Véronique Leblanc, Gentianne Bélanger and of Mother Earth for carrying our weight and keeping us alive.