Location: Air Canada Park, 345 Portage Avenue
Medium: Steel, glass
"Water is the life force or the essence of Manitoba, and the Northern section of the province is home to some of the strongest and largest hydroelectric developments in North America. In the south we consume electricity without knowledge of the land that is developed and the predominantly First Nations and Metis communities that are deeply affected. As consumers we need to continue to work towards sustainable energy consumption. This sculpture brings these issues to light using glass cast rocks with engraved petroglyphs, the Metis family floral pattern, the chevron water graphics and the abstract water turbine with the overall message that water is sacred and should be consumed and maintained with care."
Electrical Currents was created as part of THIS PLACE on Treaty 1 Territory & the homeland of the Métis Nation. This is a major public art project that builds on efforts to create awareness of the rich Indigenous cultures, peoples and heritage that are at the roots of our territory, city and province. Indigenous artists were asked to respond to the idea of this place on Treaty No. 1 territory and the homeland of the Métis nation, and their reflections range in concept and expression. As a place of community and gathering in downtown Winnipeg, the artworks located in this park make a significant mark in the city.
This project was made possible with the participation of the Government of Canada.
Dr. Julie Nagam (Métis/German/Syrian) is the Chair of the History of Indigenous Art in North America, a joint appointment between the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She is an Associate Professor in the faculty of History. Currently, Dr. Nagam is curating a public art installation for a Reconciliation Walk at The Forks in Winnipeg, and leading a team that is creating an Indigenous app for Winnipeg’s art, architectural, and place-based history. Her artwork, where white pines lay over the water, was shown in Toronto, Ontario; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Lyon, France; Wellington, New Zealand. Her installation, singing our bones home, was shown in Markham, Ontario, in London, England and in Winnipeg. Nagam has commissioned work for Nuit Blanche Manitowapow, speaking to the moon, in Toronto in the fall of 2017, and for the Smithsonian’s exhibition Transformers in New York, 2017-18, the future is in the land, which was a solo exhibition at A-Space, Toronto, and an upcoming solo at C103, locating the little heartbeats, in spring 2019.