Winnipeg Arts Council

Do You Whisper a Tiny “I’m Sorry”

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Do you whisper a tiny “I’m sorry”

Exhibition Run: September 8th – October 26th, 2023

Exhibition Opening: October 6th, 2023 | 6-9pm

Artist Talk: October 2023 (exact date to follow)

Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday | 12-4pm

We’ve all heard it – the small but sickening thud of a bird hitting a window pane. Perhaps you’ve swerved to avoid a bird strike while driving on the highway. Do you gently chide the neighbourhood cats who, despite their cuteness and the warning bells on their collars, persist as able predators? Have you felt the urge, upon sadly discovering the lifeless body of a songbird in your yard, to bury it, giving the tiny creature a more dignified final resting place?

Welsh-Canadian artist Anne Steves invites us to reflect on the universal and intimate dilemmas of life, loss, and connection – avian and otherwise – through her exhibition Do you whisper a tiny “I’m sorry”. Featuring tufted wool rugs, photographs, and her own written reflections, she transforms images of lifeless birds – her own and those gleaned from friends both near and online – into large, human-scale artworks. As children, we are admonished not to touch dead animals. Steves, however, seeks connection, merging her own body with those of the birds through safe and beautiful surrogates, mirroring their final poses in her photography, attempting to enter their world. Her work invites gallery visitors to join her in interacting with these tactile proxies, absorbing the words and images presented and sitting with the feelings and thoughts that emerge.

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and Winnipeg Arts Council.

Artist Bio

Anne Steves is a Welsh/ Canadian multidisciplinary artist living in the Village of Cumberland on Vancouver Island, BC. She holds an undergraduate degree in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and a Master of Fine Art in Studio Practices from the University of Victoria. Her work is influenced by the crafts of her childhood in Wales and the power of textiles to invoke place and relational connection. She has exhibited across Canada and the UK and has developed a site-based practice conducted through a combination of digital outreach and artist residencies. Steves has participated in the Canadian Craft Biennial residency, the MAWA residency, the Kent Harrison Ranger Station residency and was artist in residence for Gower College and Mission Gallery in Swansea, Wales. Her work has been supported by multiple grants from both the BC Arts Council and the Canada Council of the Arts.