Originally Posted on WaterlooChronicle.ca
July 17, 2020 – Properly cut and neatly stacked, the firewood outside Tania Willard’s home was inspiration waiting to happen.
The result is “Surrounded/Surrounding,” which is among five works in the current exhibition at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery called “Soundings.”
Indigenous land and territory are at the heart of Willard’s works for this exhibition, which includes musical scores in the form of drawings, beadwork, video and sound. Local musicians create performances in response to some of these scores.
The history of slavery for Blacks and dispossession for Indigenous people pushed their voices to the margins. They are now being heard in ways never imagined before as police department budgets are cut, and anti-racist action plans are coming out of public and private sectors.
“I would argue we are just being heard in a concentrated way at the present moment but that our words and our struggle have always been there for those who are paying attention,” said Willard.