ᓄᐦᑕᐃᐧᕀ ᐊᐢᑯᑖᐢᑯᐱᓱᐣ

nohtawiy askotâskopison

My Father’s Cradleboard

Morgan Possberg Denne

November 18 - December 22, 2023

Closing Reception:
December 15th, 2023
7PM @ The New Gallery
208 Centre St SE
A backlit colour photograph. Two hands holding a translucent tanned salmon skin. The light behind the salmon skin shines through the skin showing the hands through the skin.
Photo by Dan Cardinal McCartney. Courtesy of the artist.

Cradleboards have been used for thousands of years by our ancestors to carry and love for our future generations. They have protected us, acted as an external womb, and given us a place as children to watch our parents' culture and learn from a safe distance. I’ve always wondered if the fact that neither my father, his father, or myself was ever put in a cradleboard may have had a long term impact on our development, personhood, and our coping mechanisms to the ways that colonialism, residential schools and the foster care system has affected my family.

Now as an adult I deeply wish I could rewind the clock and put myself, and my father before me, and his father before him in a cradleboard as a child. To softly sing songs to us, give us safety, and to give us a connection to our culture in a safe environment. Maybe this would fix things. As kids when we were supposed to be kept safe and playing in the woods we were instead being prepped for the meat factory - the eternal meat grinder of colonialism.

The western world teaches us to push aside this childhood imagining and innocence - “These things can’t be undone!”, but what if they could? In another world somebody took better care of us, in another time we learned to drum and sing and dance, in another place we were listened to by adults who had the capacity to love and care for us.

These hot chest and aching throat feelings, the times of biting back angry tears and saying “It’s fine” have to count for something….right?

In this text Morgan and Jordan speak on consent and permission, considering what is sacred and sharing their feelings on relational community.

Documentation by Danny Luong

Morgan Possberg Denne is Two-Spirit millennial scoop and foster care survivor; with settler, Cree, Metis, and Chippewa blood connections. They have grown up in treaty 7 territory, and have relatives in southern and northern Ontario. Morgan creates imaginative, illustrative objects which could be seen as pieces of possible narratives, different ways to connect with the past and potential futures through layers of abstraction with no right or wrong answer. What matters to them is not accurately recreating the past or to predict the future, but rather to capture an inner truth and a possible alternative reality of colonial experiences. In a sense, creating new culture from a series of “what-ifs” and new stories / lore. Their work has been recently shown at the Confederation Centre for the Arts and Gallery Gachet.

Jordan Baylon (they/she/he) is a second generation PilipinX artist, critic and community worker imagining justice and abundance for equity-deserving peoples within the spaces of all our relations: personal, communal and societal. As an artist, Jordan explores queer and racialized identities as liminal spaces: both and neither; between, across and through; both inside and outside; and both literal and imagined. Jordan’s community practice leverages a decade of experience in the non-profit arts and culture sectors, where they developed their critical lens around equity, anti-racism and systems change. After many years navigating institutions, Jordan now devotes their interest and attention to working at grassroots alongside equity-deserving individuals and communities.--

中文翻译 Chinese Translation ...