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 third and fourth exhibitions Parnell reviewed, Down from the Shimmering Sky, and Robes of PowerUnderneath 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.

 Excerpt of quote(s) taken from Parnell's Arts of the Raven panel: Images seem to speak to the eye, but they are really addressed to the mind. They are ways of thinking, in the guise of ways of seeing. The eye can sometimes be satisfied with form alone, but the mind can only be satisfied with meaning, which can be contemplated, more consciously or less, after the eye is closed. As Duff indicates, the eye can sometimes be satisfied with form alone, but in order to separate the accomplished from the pedestrian the eye must be educated. Scholars have provided a basis for this by offering analyses of form which allow the viewer to understand the conventions of line and shape in Northwest Coast art so as to make informed aesthetic judgments....

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

Excerpt of quote(s) taken from Parnell's Robes of Power panel: 

robes of power

As the masterpiece of human life is created by man and woman
So are button blankets made.
As thread links materials to create beautiful and useful objects
So do button blankets link
Past and present to create living records.
As the cycle of life is maintained by co-operation,
Nurturing, order and respect
So do button blankets maintain

Our way.

Installation view