ORILLIA MUSEUM OF ART AND HISTORY
Have you ever wondered what beavers, buffaloes, bears, raccoons, or rabbits thought of humans during the North American Fur Trade?
Jill Price is an interdisciplinary artist of German, Welsh and Scottish descent residing on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples.
Currently working with the team at the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH), Price has combined her experience as a researcher, curator, and educator with dark humour to "unsettle the archive from a more-than-human perspective" and 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 turned OMAH’s Franklin 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 also incorporates titles such as FURniture (Four Legged & Nesting), FURnishings, FURther Reading, and ReFURbished to point to the material entanglements of human and animal environments.
However, visitors will also realize that despite the artist's playful use of sound, animation, dioramas, custom designed furnishings and word play, the installation also alludes to how economic imperialism continues to threaten ecological diversity and natural habitats today. Price shares,
"I began working with crafters' fur coats during my MFA at OCAD University. Now researching the importance of unsettling and methods of unmaking for disrupting ecological and social trauma, I felt both privileged and dismayed to work with the collection of furs and animal artifacts held within the OMAH collection," she said.
"By pulling out mink stoles, beaver hats, animal bones and other fur objects, one begins to see how these objects are still very much charged with haunting energies and stories of their own; energies and stories that deserve space and respect."
Unfurled: Unsettling the Archive from a More-Than-Human Perspective will run from May to August, 2021. For more information, images, times and programming associated with this exhibition, please contact: Tanya Cunnington, Arts Programming Coordinator, Orillia Museum of Art & History, email@example.com / 705-326-2159 ext. 109
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.