March 28 - May 4, 2019

Opening Reception: Thursday March 28, 6-8pm

Exhibition Text

COOPER COLE is pleased to present Loose Spells, a solo exhibition by Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill. This marks Hill’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill’s spells are made through a labor-intensive process that includes coating paper repeatedly in a homemade, tobacco-infused Crisco oil, then applying pigments and allowing the paper to dry for several months at a time. While the works were drying, Hill collected ephemera from the neighbourhood: dandelions and other assorted wildflowers, beer can tabs, magazines and dollar-store charms. Once the oil had fully dried, she was able to carefully sew and glue these small tokens to the paper. The resulting drawings are both delicate and tough, translucent in areas, odorous, and materially connected to Hill’s daily life. These images recall trash-strewn sunsets and billowing clothes on a backyard line. Casting these spells points to Hill’s ongoing interest in the connection between the ephemeral and the real, and intends to represent a kind of power over those ideas.

Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill (b. 1979, Comox, BC, Canada) is a Cree and Metis artist and writer. Hill’s sculptural practice explores the history of found materials to enquire into concepts of land, property, and economy. Most recently, her work has shown extensively in Canada at Unit 17, Polygon Gallery, the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, Vancouver; the Alberta Art Gallery, Edmonton; SBC galerie d’art contemporain, Montreal; and STRIDE gallery, Calgary. Hill is a member of BUSH gallery, an Indigenous artist collective seeking to decentre Eurocentric models of making and thinking about art, prioritizing instead land-based teachings and Indigenous epistemologies. Hill’s writing has been published in many places, most recently in Beginning With the Seventies (Helen Belkin, 2019). She is also the co-editor of The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (ARP 2009) and Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island (Wildred Laurier 2017). Hill lives and works on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh people.

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