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UNFURLED: A Brief Look into a Furry Art Installation by Canadian Artist Jill Price

Have you ever wondered what beavers, buffalos, bears, racoons, or rabbits might have thought of humans during the North American Fur Trade?
Closing: October 30, 2021
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 - 4
Jill Price began working with crafters’ fur coats during her MFA at OCAD University while exploring the social, ecological and psychological shadows of the global textile industry for thesis Land as Archive: A Collection of Seen and Unseen Shadows. Now a PhD SSHRC research fellow and teaching fellow at Queen's University, Price has utilized her current research into unmaking as a creative act to "unsettle the archive from a more-than-human perspective."

An award winning researcher, curator, and educator, Price’s interdisciplinary practice works at the intersection of  ecological ethics, post settler logics, new materialism and post-anthropocene theory to speculate on how animals might choose to engage with, frame, label and question the colonial histories embedded within the material objects, imagery and documents held in museums.

Marking the artist's first solo exhibition in Orillia, Price has artfully turned the centre's Carmichael Gallery into a living space reminiscent of a late 19th century parlour to visualize how interior and exterior environments are materially and psychically linked. Price's use of word play in titles such as FURniture (Four Legged & Nesting), FURnishings, FURther Reading, and ReFURbished also point to the material entanglements of human and animal lives. In addition to the artist's playful use of sound, animation, dioramas, custom designed furnishings and text, the installation also alludes to how economic imperialism continues to threaten ecological diversity and natural habitats today. Price shares,

Now researching the importance of unsettling and methods of unmaking for disrupting ecological and social trauma, I found it both a privilege and alarming to work with the collection of furs and animal artifacts held within the OMAH Collection. By pulling out mink stoles, beaver hats, animal bones and other fur objects, one begins to understand how these objects are still very much charged with haunting energies and stories of their own; energies and stories that deserve a little more space and respect.

Links to existing essays, press and artist talks can be found here (hyperlink).

For more information you can contact the artist or:
Tanya Cunnington, Exhibition and Programming Coordinator, Orillia Museum of Art, and History
visitors@orilliamuseum.org / 705-326-2159

OMAH and the artist would like to thank the PAUL QUARRINGTON LEGACY FUND for the support of this exhibition and note that NO ANIMALS were injured or killed during the making of this exhibit.