Union Gallery

special exhibitions/off-site projectS

Union Gallery Vitrine Project

December 9, 2017 - January 31, 2018 | Tanya Lukin Linklater: The Harvest Sturdies and A Girl
Curated by Magdalyn Asimakis
Located just outside the gallery - stop by any time of the day

Image: excerpt from The Harvest Sturdies, 2013, by Tanya Lukin Linklater

Tanya Lukin Linklater’s text practice engages with poetry, pedagogies, Indigenous conceptual space, languages, and institutions. The Harvest Sturdies and A Girl are meticulous visual compositions that consider strategies and potentials of exceeding structures while dealing directly with contemporary political issues around gender and Indigenous spaces. Lukin Linklater’s interest in structural critique and pedagogy are also the interests of the curator, and the Union Gallery Vitrine is a compelling space in which to explore these themes. The vitrine as a western display concept is largely unquestioned in museums despite having a relationship of tension with objects tied to histories of colonization. It is generative to explore these contradictions. The unconventional design of the Union Gallery Vitrine gestures to both the art gallery and the library. This duality is reflected in Lukin Linklater’s exploration of text and visual art, institution and critique, and pedagogy and alternative structure.


“A Girl” was written in November and December, 2012 in response to the attempted assassination of girls’ education activist, Malala Yousafzai, in the region of Swat Valley, Pakistan.

“The Harvest Sturdies” was written in response to Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike, a 44-day action that began December 11, 2012. The mitts Chief Spence wore in many of her press engagements are an important symbol for the people of James Bay. Interviews with Agnes Hunter, Marlene Kapasheshit and Lillian Mishi Trapper during January and February 2013 regarding the process for making traditional James Bay Mitts were conducted for this poem.

On Cree translation

Agnes Hunter and Duane Linklater provided spelling and translation of Cree words in “The Harvest Sturdies.”

askiy: earth
astisak: mitts or mittens
atik: caribou
atikowayan: caribou hide
awasisak: children

Artist Biography

Tanya Lukin Linklater’s performance collaborations, videos, and installations have been exhibited internationally and her poetry and essays have been published in several critical art magazines and museum publications. In 2017, as a member of Wood Land School, Tanya participated in documenta14 in Kassel. She was also the inaugural artist in residence at All My Relations Arts in Minneapolis and artist in residence at Art Gallery of Ontario. She originates from the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions in southern Alaska and is based in northern Ontario, Canada.

Curator Biography

Magdalyn Asimakis is an independent curator and a PhD student in the Art History department at Queen’s University. She was most recently a Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program where she co-curated the exhibition That I am Reading Backwards and Into for a Purpose, To Go On: and co-authored a book by the same name, that included writing by Tanya Lukin Linklater. Magdalyn’s curatorial practice is concerned with duration, ideological systems and institutional critique. Her writing has been published in BlackFlash Magazine, Brooklyn Rail and several museum publications.

Previous Off-Site Projects

Please check our archives for previous off-site projects.