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Kelsey Street: Weaving Back and Forth

Jul 8 — Aug 12, 2023

Images courtesy of The Rooms: Kelsey Street, Old Spruce Tree, 2022

In Mi’kmaq language there is a guiding principle known as “Etuaptmumk” meaning “Two-Eyed Seeing,” originally introduced by Elder Albert Marshall, that involves seeing with one eye the world through Indigenous knowledge, and seeing the other eye through Western perspectives, and simultaneously seeing both worlds as a way to create balance and harmony.

Weaving Back and Forth is a collaboration between Street and her late Grandmother Alice Mary Bennett, who lived a lot of her life on Woods Island — a small fishing community in the heart of the Bay of Islands that was resettled in the 1960’s. Inspired by Alice’s quilts, Street extends further within her own experiences and utilizes beadwork as a way of navigating both her Newfoundland settler and Indigenous heritage. The relationship between beading and quilting is a way for Street to connect multiple perspectives, and see through both lenses to co-learn and create an understanding of both cultures.

Alice Bennett was a brave Mi’kmaw woman, and spent most of her time knitting, sewing, dancing, and of course quilting.

Kelsey Street

Kelsey Street is a Mi’kmaw artist from Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk Territory (Bay of Islands, NL). She has an interdisciplinary arts practice working in a variety of forms such as beadwork, textile/craft and printmaking processes, often touching upon themes of community, home, and resettlement. Street graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and has participated in residencies and exhibitions provincially and internationally (Canada, UK) at venues such as Union House Arts, Tina Dolter Gallery, Craft Council, PULP Gallery, Grenfell Art Gallery, and Gatehouse Arts, UK. Street was recently the artist-in-residence and presented a solo exhibition at The Rooms, NL.

This work was created as a part of an Elbow Room Residency and was exhibited at The Rooms in St. John’s, NL from October 2022 – January 2023.

We gratefully acknowledge the support from Canada Council for the Arts and ArtsNL for our 2023 LAND Programming