Launch and Reception: Thursday February 28, 7:00PM
à la façon du pays (in the custom of the country) is a new work by Amy Malbeuf that honours her family’s history and its connection to Brandon’s community. This is the final project in the AGSM Billboard series.
In 1801, my great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents were joined in marriage in the custom of the country, known as à la façon du pays, at Brandon House. Marriage à la façon du pays is the historical term used to describe the European and Indigenous rituals that were combined to create this unique custom. The term refers not to specific rituals or ceremonies, which varied from place to place, but focuses more on the joining of Indigenous women and European men through marriage, and functioned as an integral element of fur trade society in what is now known as western Canada.
Many of my ancestors were married in this way—this work is an interpretation of possible rites that took place as a way of documenting a history of people joining together on this land and interpreted through beadwork. There are thousands of descendants from these types of marriages, many of which gave birth to the Métis nation. The flame, circle, and seeds not only represent these ancestral unions but are intended to speak to the relatedness of all beings and all people(s).
I chose to express the idea of connection and kinship through beadwork, as my own personal experiences within the Brandon community have been centred around beading with fellow Indigenous artists and makers. It is a place I come to bead, talk, and learn about beading, and share through my beadwork.
- Amy Malbeuf
Amy Malbeuf is a Métis visual artist from Rich Lake, Alberta. Through utilizing mediums such as caribou hair tufting, beadwork, installation, performance, and video, Malbeuf explores notions of identity, place, language, and ecology. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in over forty shows at venues including Art Mûr, Montréal, Winnipeg Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe; and Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua, New Zealand. Malbeuf has participated in many international artist residencies including at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, (AUS); The Banff Centre; The Labrador Research Institute; and Santa Fe Art Institute (US). She holds a MFA in Visual Art from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Malbeuf has been the recipient of such honours as the 2016 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award, the 2016 William and Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Artists in Canada from the Hnatyshyn Foundation, a 2017 REVEAL award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation, and was long listed for the 2017 Sobey Art Award.