Red Runners is exploring First Nations Identity through the use of a common object. This is a group show featuring 14 First Nations artists of diverse background and media. They will, to coin a phrase, allow us to walk a mile in their moccasins. While their stories are different they come from a similar place, for these reasons we chose the running shoe as the common object.
When we started this project we were given some parameters for the project; the exhibition had to be accessible to the common native person, it wasn’t suppose to be to “artsy” but not too kitsch. And we were told to think outside the box, these parameters don’t seem too restrictive but it was actually quite hard to come up with a solution. Jason is of mixed heritage so he wanted to explore that theme and I was pretty open to any theme as I figure the idea is to get curatorial experience.
As a part of a series of workshops facilitated by Robert we went to the Bata shoe museum to see the exhibition “Beauty, Identity, Pride: Native American Footwear”. This show had traditional foot wear from all over North America and I felt the footwear told the stories of the people who they created them and who they created them for. I have also been interested in running shoes as artworks for quite a while, having been a reader of Juxtapose magazine for many years. I never imagined we could re-imagine runners as a medium for the expression of First Nations identity.