Libby Leshgold Gallery

Your Old Way Kind of Vision brings together the works of four artists–Siku Allooloo, Catherine Blackburn, Wally Dion and Charlene Vickers–who explore their Indigenous backgrounds through distinct artistic practices. Using Allooloo’s poem, “Arnauqatikka”, as a jumping off point, the exhibition uplifts ways of seeing, living and making that evoke a sense of possibility, return and expansion in relation to contemporary Indigenous identities. Through a diversity of approach, each artist builds nuance through materials and ideas that speak equally of traditional material cultures and contemporary vision. Far from a dichotomy of past and present, Your Old Way Kind of Vision expresses a deeply layered and sensory engagement, highlighting an expansive re-imagining of traditional concepts – and the practices that are shaping Indigenous contemporary art into the future.

Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian/Taíno filmmaker as well as an interdisciplinary artist, writer, decolonial advocate, and community builder from Yellowknife, NT, Canada (by way of Pond Inlet, Nunavut, and Haiti). A unique and innovative voice of her generation known for working with subject matter in a deeply layered and sensory way, Siku artistically reimagines conventional forms as imbued by her cultural traditions, oral histories, and land-based practice. Siku’s film an artwork have been featured at prominent international film festivals and art galleries, including Whitney Museum of American Art, BlackStar, DOXA, The Flaherty, Canada’s National Arts Centre, Anthology Film Archives, Qaumajuq-Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. Siku’s debut short film, SPIRIT EMULSION (2022), won Best Canadian Short at Gimli International Film Festival, Prix de la Relève (Emerging Talent Award) at Festival International Présence Autochtone, two Filmmaker Awards at YKIFF 2022, and Honourable Mention, DOXA Documentary Short Award. Her independent journalism, poetry, and creative writing have also been widely published (in The Guardian, Canadian Art Magazine, Truthout, Chatelaine, and The Capilano Review). As the founder and owner of Akia Films, Siku is currently leading the production of her first feature documentary film, INDÍGENA, as the writer, director and co-producer.

Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak Saskatchewan, of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweller, whose common themes address Canada’s colonial past that are often prompted by personal narratives. Her art merges contemporary concepts with elements of traditional Dene culture that create dialogue between traditional art forms and new interpretations of them. Her work has exhibited in notable national and international exhibitions and fashion runways including; Àbadakone, National Gallery of Canada, Santa Fe Haute Couture Fashion Show, Niigaanikwewag (2nd iteration), Art Gallery of Mississauga, and Art Encounters on the Edge, Bonavista Biennale, Newfoundland. She has received numerous grants and awards for her work, including the Saskatchewan RBC Emerging Artist Award, the Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award, a publication in Vogue online magazine, as well as her inclusion on the 2019 Sobey Art Award long list.

Wally Dion is a visual artist living and working in Binghamton, New York. Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Dion is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation (Salteaux). He holds a BFA from the University of Saskatchewan and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Throughout much of his career, Dion’s work has contributed to a broad conversation in the art world about identity and power, and can be interpreted as part of a much larger pan-American struggle by Indigenous peoples to be recognized—culturally, economically, and politically—by settler societies. Solo exhibitions of Dion’s work have been presented at the College Art Galleries, University of Saskatchewan; Wanuskewin Gallery, Saskatoon; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg; Ottawa Art Gallery; and Boise Art Museum.

Charlene Vickers is an Anishinaabe artist based in Vancouver. Vickers’ works lucidly manifest ancestral connections, cultural reclamations and her territorial presence as Anishinaabe Kwe while responding formally to the Coast Salish land she has resided upon for the past thirty years. Vickers is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, drawing, sculpture, assemblage, and performance. In her paintings, Vickers’ infuses layers of vivid gestures and forms to illuminate life underneath shadows and textures, imagining emergent landscapes and birthing creatures amid mythic transformation. Recent exhibitions include Indian Theatre, curated by Candice Hopkins at CCS BARD Hessel Museum in Hudson, NY (2023), Reverberations: Contemporary Art and Modern Classics at the Seattle Art Museum (2023), Good Foot Forward, curated by Kitty Scott, Toronto (2023), Big Blue Smudge, The University of Saskatchewan (2022), Ancestral Gesture, a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver (September 2021).

For further information please contact the Libby Leshgold Gallery.

Canada Council for the Arts


Artist/Photo Credit: Wally Dion quilt, 2023. 127 1⁄4 h x 106 1⁄4 w. fabric, copper pipe.