“a bead, a breath.” Solo exhibition by Carrie Allison

Exhibition at aceartinc., a bead, a breath.


Carrie Allison is a nêhiýaw, Métis, and mixed European descent multidisciplinary visual artist based in K’jipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki (Halifax, Nova Scotia). She grew up on the unceded and unsurrendered lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Her maternal roots and relations are based in maskotewisipiy (High Prairie, Alberta), Treaty 8. Situated in K’jipuktuk since 2010, her practice responds to her maternal nêhiýaw and Métis ancestry, thinking through intergenerational cultural loss and acts of reclaiming, resilience, resistance, and activism, while also thinking through notions of allyship, kinship and visiting. Her practice is rooted in research and pedagogical discourses. Old and new technologies are combined to tell stories of the land, continuance, growth, and of healing.

a bead, a breath is an exhibition that thinks through caregiving, motherhood, intergenerational connections, stories, and memories, through three works My Moon, Our Hands, Our Body, Our Spirit, and BEADZ. My Moon is a stop-motion animation of the artist’s beading, set to an audio recording of her newborn’s breath, and a meditative approach used to work through the artist’s anxiety of being a new mother during the COVID-19 pandemic. The artist combined images “in a painstakingly laborious way, each bead is laid, stitched, a photo taken, then edited, and finally placed in sequence with the sound of my child’s breath.” A second video work, Our Hands, Our Body, Our Spirit, documents a three-hour performance by the artist at Middle Cove in Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) during a 2019 land-based residency through Eastern Edge (an artist-run centre in St. John’s, NL). Critiquing Western notions of ‘Land Art,’ Allison carried rocks up a bluff from the beach below to position them in a circle the diameter of the length of her body. She then returned the rocks to the beach, leaving behind an imprint of the rock—her body—on the land. Of this work, the artist writes, “the emotional labour and craft-based labour of Indigenous beadwork artists and caregivers are similarly undervalued, and by bringing together these linked elements of land art and beadwork, I create systems of value according to Indigenous concepts of stewardship.” Accompanying these video works are large sculptural BEADZ, which invite the audience, child or adult, to play or rest as they watch the videos. In both videos, time spent honours anxiety, labour, resistance, and tenderness, connecting the artist to a lineage of mothering—whether that is caring for a child, taking care of our bodies and communities, attending to our practices, or stewarding the land. – written by Katie Belcher (Access Gallery)

Opening Reception: Friday October 6, 6PM – 9PM

Artist Talk: Saturday October 7, 12PM

Exhibition run: October 6 – November 9, 2023

Gallery hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12-5PM




About aceartinc.: We are an artist-run centre dedicated to the support, exhibition, and dissemination of contemporary art. aceartinc. Presents five major exhibitions a year by contemporary visual artists. www.aceart.org


We are on Treaty 1 Territory. On the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. We offer our respect and gratitude to the caretakers of this land.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content