EXHIBITION CLOSING: Meryl McMaster’s “As Immense as the Sky” final wkend @RICgallery Toronto


Travelling into unknown land.
Birds as companions and guides.
Retracing ancestral steps.
On paths walked many times.
Great migrations across land and water.
Connecting with kinfolk.
On journeys that lead here.
Time passes by in cycles.
On journeys leading to my being.

(ABOVE IMAGE: On the Edge of Immensity, location Gore Bay, Manitoulin Island, Ontario)

TORONTO FRIENDS! This is the final weekend to see Meryl McMaster’s As Immense as the Sky | Pēyakwan KĪsik Kakwāyaki-ispīhcaw, by curator Gaëlle Morel, at Ryerson Image Centre. This exhibition, which opened as part of the Scotiabank’s CONTACT Festival, is a stunning solo show of Meryl’s newest work. An auxiliary exhibition was also on at the Stephen Bulger Gallery and ran until June 14. I have visited the Ryerson location many times and it has moved me deeply, particularly the prose Meryl has written that accompanies each work. As someone shared at the opening “Meryl brings you into other worlds with her.” The light, the wind, the land, the sky all conspire with Meryl. She choreographs with the forces of nature and the forces of nature are happy to oblige. My soul will miss this show.

From Ryerson Image Centre: 

Wearing various designed costumes, sculptural garments, makeup, and custom-made props, Meryl McMaster examines the overlapping cultures and histories of both her Indigenous and European ancestors in this series of performative self-portraits. Documented at ancient sites in Saskatchewan and the shores of early settlement in Ontario and Newfoundland, her images originate from her interpretation and reenactment of patrimonial stories told by relatives, knowledge keepers, and friends. McMaster’s otherworldly personas pose theatrically in front of these majestic panoramas, speaking to how inherited historical narratives inform her dual identity.  (more info)


ABOVE IMAGES: Installation of As Immense as the Sky; installation of As Immense as the Sky; hallway outside of As Immense as the Sky; outside of Ryerson Image Centre; outside of Stephen Bulger Gallery on Dundas Street in Toronto; Meryl McMaster at opening of As Immense as the Sky install at Stephen Bulger Gallery.

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