Tepkik by Jordan Bennett

Commissioned by BFPLTO, Tepkik, a 100-foot-long site-specific sculptural work by visual artist Jordan Bennett.

graced the Allen Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place Toronto from July 30 to August 24, 2018, with a striking visual representation of the intersection of Mi’kmaq ancestral and contemporary traditions. Shortlisted for the 2018 Sobey Art Award, Bennett finds inspiration from images and stories created by the practice of artfully removing rock to create a petroglyph. Tepkik draws on the Mi’kmaq petroglyph that depicts the Milky Way, which has been found on the rocky shores of the lakes and rivers at Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia.

Bennett’s work employs both large, printed fabric panels and highly reflective surface elements. The piece creates a link to Mi’kmaq ways of being and understandings of our known universe by presenting a visual conversation exploring Mi’kmaq creation stories.

Jordan Bennett’s largest piece to-date, the sweeping, colourful Polysilk fabric panels used in Tepkik will transport visitors into the realm of the night sky, bringing the stars and stories of our galaxy into view at any time of day. The installation title, Tepkik, is a Mi’Kmaq word for “night”, reflecting on the creation stories that are told through the stars in the sky. Historical references to the sky, land, and our galaxy are illuminated by Bennett’s bright treatment of colour, both traditional and pop, as well as his interpretation of Mi’kmaq quillwork patterns and motifs. By pushing his limits and employing new materials in his art practice, Bennett has given a new forum for these oral traditions to be told and shared. Using over 200 ft of Polysilk fabric and custom reflective vinyl typically used for road signs, Bennett uses contemporary materials to evoke cultural markers of the past.

Tepkik was presented at Brookfield Place New York in the summer of 2019 and was a featured exhibition of The National Gallery of Canada’s Abadakone / Continuous Fire / Feu Continuel in the fall of that year.

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