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In conjunction with Bonnie Devine’s exhibition, La Rábida, Soul of Conquest: an Anishinaabe encounter, Cambridge Art Galleries invites you to a free artist talk and catalogue launch on Tuesday February 12, 2019, 7:00pm at the Old Post Office | 12 Water St. South, Cambridge, ON.

Bonnie Devine La Rábida, Soul of Conquest: an Anishinaabe Encounter (detail) 2018. Photograph by Scott Lee.

Cambridge Art Galleries
February 12, 2019 | 7:00 PM
Old Post Office | 12 Water St. S. Cambridge, ON

Bonnie Devine will speak about her research and development of the current exhibition at Cambridge Art Galleries, Queen's Square Gallery: La Rábida, Soul of Conquest: an Anishinaabe encounter. The event will also launch the catalogue for the exhibition and will be available for purchase at the event. This exhibition and catalogue is organized by Art Gallery of Peterborough.

La Rábida is a Franciscan monastery overlooking the mouth of the Rio Tinto near the small town of Palos de la Frontera on the Atlantic coast of Spain. Christopher Columbus set sail from this place in August 1492 confident he would find a new route to Asia. He landed instead on an island in the Caribbean Sea. The cultural confrontation that followed his landing is the inspiration and subject of this exhibition.

The development of La Rábida, Soul of Conquest: an Anishinaabe encounter began in 2015 and 2016, when artist Bonnie Devine visited Spain intending to examine the legacy of Columbus from an Indigenous perspective. Her research evolved into a broader investigation of the religious justification for the seizure of land and the subjugation of Indigenous populations in the Americas when she happened on the monastery at La Rábida. Using primary source material gathered from Europe and the Americas, including the 1493 Papal Bull Inter Caetera – the Doctrine of Discovery, the Nueva Corόnica y Buen Gobierno by Guáman Poma from 1615, and the current town seal of Whitesboro, New York, among others, Devine documents the enduring impact of the Columbus landing in painting, drawing, video, sculpture and an original commissioned choral work by David DeLeary.

This exhibition comes at a pivotal time when public and government attention is focused on the Truth and Reconciliation process. Devine’s work in La Rábida draws on a repository of historic documents, monuments, and texts that report the violence and injustice of colonialism. The practice of truth telling is not new - some of the accounts cited in Devine’s exhibition date from as early as the era of initial contact. That these accounts are publicly accessible, yet largely ignored in dominant historical narratives reveals how easily power structures are maintained. Devine presents these documents with a stark honesty that lays bare the ongoing insidious effects of colonization.

This exhibition is Organized and Circulated by the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

Cambridge Art Galleries | Idea Exchange presents contemporary art, architecture and design from three galleries in the City of Cambridge: Design at Riverside, Preston, and Queen’s Square.

Cambridge Art Galleries acknowledges that the land on which we gather is the traditional land of the Haudenosaunee, Anishnaabe, and Neutral People and recognize that it is part of the Haldimand Treaty territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River (six miles on either side of the Grand River).

Media Contact
Karly Boileau
Gallery Assistant
Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square
1 North Square, Cambridge, ON  N1S 2K6
519.621.0460 x160






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