Sidings with circular print work in blue on the Union Canal, created by Nadia Myre.

Nadia Myre: Tell Me of Your Boats and Your Waters – Where Do They Come From, Where Do They Go?

For our 18th edition, Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh Printmakers presented newly commissioned work from Montreal-based artist Nadia Myre responding to the 200th anniversary of the Union Canal.

The project – across print, installation and sound – explored reference points spanning Scotland and Canada, migratory routes started on the canal, indigenous story-telling, archival research methods, pattern, prose and song. The artist’s research began with the encounter of Tales Of Nanabozho in a local library in Montreal – a book published in 1964 by Scottish-born émigré Dorothy Marion Reid after moving to Canada, who recounts stories of Nanabozho, a prominent trickster character to the Anishinaabe*, provoking questions of authorship and voice reverberating into the present. As an Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Myre’s work brings to the fore the decolonial impulse inherent in the artist’s practice, imprinting and entangling materials with meaning. The work was sited alongside the Union Canal and In Gallery 2 of Edinburgh Printmakers. A new print has also been created by the artist.

*The Anishinaabeg (adjectival: Anishinaabe) are a group of culturally related indigenous peoples present in the region of Canada and the United States. They include the Ojibwe (including Saulteaux and Oji-Cree), Odawa, Potawatomi, Mississaugas, Nipissing and Algonquin peoples. See further information on Wikipedia.

Read the associate text by Tiffany Boyle and Janet Archer from Edinburgh Printmakers below. You can also download this PDF here.

The co-commission was supported by the PLACE Programme, a partnership between Edinburgh Festivals, The Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland. The co-commission was further supported by Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALC), Kinawind Lab at Concordia University, Québec Government Office in London and the High Commission of Canada in the UK as part of Spotlight Canada.