Video: Revealing and Understanding Sacred Roles Through Our Own Process | An Artist Talk by Cheyenne Thomas and David Thomas | Sovereign Intimacies

On Friday, October 30 at 6 pm CT Plug In ICA presented Revealing & Understanding Sacred Roles Through Our Own Process, a live stream artist talk by Cheyenne Thomas and David Thomas. This talk was the first in a series of events as part of our group show Sovereign Intimacies which was on view until December 20, 2020.

“Working together has brought understanding to the traditional roles that exist in our community, these roles in our work have continuously shifted back and forth between, daughter, father, artist, best friend, designer, colleague. Through our work, we explore what it is to be Indigenous, what it is to be an Indigenous woman, revealing the value of matriarchal roles in our practice.”

Cheyenne Thomas is an Anishinaabe designer from Peguis and Sagkeeng First Nations. She graduated in 2013 from the Faculty of Architecture with an Environmental Design degree. She has worked on numerous Indigenous architecture, landscape, and installations across Canada. She has been a facilitator and designer for the Indigenous Gardens at the Assiniboine Park and presented in the UK, New Zealand, and across Canada. Currently, Thomas is a board member for the Forks and North Portage Partnership, and passionate about bringing her peoples visions and values into her work.

David Thomas is Anishinaabe, a member of Peguis First Nation. He is currently involved in the development of the Indigenous People’s Garden at Assiniboine Park part of Canada’s Diversity Garden. Along with Indigenous architecture projects throughout Canada, David has presented in New Zealand and the UK. David was also part of UNCEDED, Canada’s entry of Indigenous Architects for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. David’s practice, process and research focus on identity and lived experience as an Indigenous person.

Sovereign Intimacies was a group exhibition co-curated by Nasrin Himada and Jennifer Smith, in partnership with Gallery 1C03, with support from Video Pool Media Arts Centre. The exhibition took place at Plug In ICA from September 26 – December 20, 2020, with extensive programming that consists of online talks, workshops, screenings, and poetry readings. Sovereign Intimacies explored themes of cultural and community exchange between Indigenous artists and artists from the diaspora, more specifically artists who are First Nations, Inuit and Métis collaborating with artists living in what is currently called Canada who came to this land and are not part of the settler/colonial history of the country. The group show consisted of pairings of artists, as well as individuals, whose work is based on process and relationship building, and for those whose work is invested in active conceptualization around topics of friendship and intimacy, who are working to build collective vision of a sovereign future.