Luke Parnell's Re-contextualising the De-consecrated is an challenging and inquisitive look into the exhibition history of Northern Northwest Coast Aboriginal Art. Parnell's installation of paintings and didactic panels surveys the exhibitions both aesthetically, and critically through writing. The viewer is confronted with varying degrees of positive and negative feedback on the significance of each exhibition, and can begin to see how perception of NWC art has changed and transformed over the years.

According to Parnell: Each artwork appropriates heavily from the exhibition that it explores.  The words for the didactic panels are completely appropriated and while the paintings are original each one is inspired by either artworks from the exhibition or the philosophy of the exhibition. The creation and methodology behind this series of paintings enables the work to explore notions of appropriation, authenticity and what is considered sacrosanct.

Over the course of the next two weeks we will be sharing with you all 8 of these responses. Below are the visual representations of the fifth and sixth exhibitions Parnell reviewed, Raven Travelling, and The Transforming ImageUnderneath each image you will see an excerpt of the accompanying appropriated text panel. We encourage you to visit the gallery to look at all of the work in context.

The Transforming Image, Luke Parnell, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36"
 Excerpt of quote(s) taken from Parnell's The Transforming Image panel: The story of Northwest Coast painting is continuous and unfolding. The idea of transformation can be extended to painted images in multiple ways. Many of the paintings are representations of mythical beings whose power derives, in part, from their ability to transform from one manifestation or cosmic realm to another. The stylistic and conceptual evolution of regional traditions of painting on the Northwest Coast, through both cultural interaction and individual creativity, constitutes a second kind of transformation. Central, are the transforming ways of seeing and interpreting painted images over time, whether within and among First Nations communities of as objects travel outside their original contexts...

Robes of Power, Luke Parnell, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36"

Excerpt of quote(s) taken from Parnell's Raven Travelling panel: To non-Haida eyes, their beauty is astounding. Still, Nika Collison warns against an “art for art's sake” approach to what's on view. Haida art, she insists, is completely integrated into Haida culture. She reiterates her Cousin Vince's assertion of identity. “In its truest function, our art represents who we are and where we come from.”