An Act of Gradual Civilisation (Exhibition Opening)

An Act of Gradual Civilisation (Exhibition Opening)

Lorna McParland

Wed 9 Mar 2011 | 6pm-8pm | Free

Please join us for the opening night of Lorna McParland‘s exhibition, An Act of Gradual Civilisation.

The title of this project was taken from the Act to encourage the gradual civilization of the Indian tribes in this Province and to amend the Laws respecting Indians, commonly called the Gradual Civilization Act, a bill passed by the 5th Parliament of the Province of Canada in 1857.

The bill was introduced to outline the criteria for members of First Nations to relinquish their tribal status and become British subjects. This was a mandatory process for all men who could read, write or speak English or French and were of ‘sound mind’. It also formed the basis for the Indian Act which sets parameters for the education, land ownership, and treaty process involving Canadian First Nations today.

The images in this exhibition were created between 2008 and 2010 as part of a workshop at the Sookinchoot Youth Centre in Vernon, British Columbia. The young people involved were asked to create images based on a simple brief: to create a self portrait without showing their physical likeness. Using their photographs as inspiration, Lorna constructs her own visual response – the photographs in this exhibition and an accompanying book containing both hers and the workshop participants’ photographs.