500 King Street West, Kitchener. Produced by CAFKA. Photo by Gordon Hatt.
Guided by Streams is an installation comprised of a series of five rectangular attention flags installed on flagpoles. Each flag is custom digitally printed and dual sided with an image and text. Viewed together the series activates a non-linear narrative of the history of the land and thanks Indigenous peoples for their stewardship.
The title alludes to one of the ways that Indigenous peoples organized communities in the region. The installation of the flagpoles will replicate the movement of streams and will help shape the site as one that invites viewers in. The five flags in the schematic above represent from (left to right) the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in the Grand River watershed; a milkweed plant, indigenous to the geographical region and an important plant for migrating monarch butterflies; "Niawen," the word for "Thank you" in Haudenosaunee; a schematic map of the Haldimand Tract representing the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo; and "Miigwech," the word for "Thank you" in Anishinaabe.
About the artist
Susan Blight (Anishinaabe, Couchiching First Nation) is an interdisciplinary artist working with public art, site-specific intervention, photography, film, and social practice. Her solo and collaborative work engages questions of personal and cultural identity and its relationship to space. Susan is co-founder of The Ogimaa Mikana Project, an artist collective working to reclaim and rename the roads and landmarks of Toronto with Anishinaabemowin and is a member of the Indigenous Routes artist collective which works to provide free new media training for Indigenous youth.She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba, a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor in Integrated Media, and is currently a PhD student in Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto).
This project has been made possible with the support of the Region of Waterloo.