FINE DINE by Kinuk: An exhibition by Ursula Johnson & Angella Parsons featuring Lia Rinaldo
This exhibition that takes place at all PAVIA locations at the same time and opens on Saturday, October 14th, 2017.
KINIUK - About the Artists
Kinuk is the artistic collaborative duo of Ursula Johnson and Angella Parsons. Johnson and Parsons first met at the Nova Scotia College of Art& Design in 2001 and were married in 2011.
In conversation with the artists Parsons describes Kinuk as:
We explore the romantic and the interpersonal on a different plane. We play with taking the benign, everyday conversations and experiences from our shared space privately and push that into the public realm, playing with the boundaries of private versus public. We enter into a broader dialogue historically with other performance artist duos who have explored similar themes - relational aesthetics comes in there…we’re playing with a kind of sameness, how we connect, the ways we all connect with a sameness at first, how that becomes a foundation for how we’re connecting. But then we identify difference - whether through language, culture, worldview, and privilege and the art that we make becomes a meeting place for that conversation…a new dimension outside of our shared space….and it always comes back to the art….
Johnson describes Kinuk as:
…well we talk about all different types of art - we talk about performance art, sculpture…and also culture, economics, gender and sexuality and we talk about our relationship to each other and how we operate or work within those constructs as individuals but also together as a couple. We often have a similar perspective when it comes to values of sociological, political or even often philosophical ideologies and we look at what, or how we relate to one another in this world that we live in and we often ask if other couples or individuals have similar conversations and then we think of all kinds of art projects that could explore dynamics of spaces or situations and wonder if it would resonate with other people because we wonder if they think the same things.
Kinuk is the artistic collaborative duo of Ursula Johnson and Angella Parsons. Johnson and Parsons first met at the Nova Scotia College of Art& Design in 2001.
Kinuk is a term from the Mi’kmaq language that is used to describe the notion of ‘Us’ from an exclusive perspective. The term engulfs the viewers of the work as participants and includes their experience as a shared experience of Angella and Ursula – therefore absorbing the viewer as becoming including in the ‘Us’.
Kinuk often explores themes of public verses private. The two first officially collaborated as Kinuk in 2013 in Charlottetown PEI at Art In The Open conducting a durational performance called “L'nuwesimk:El-noo-wee-simk”.
Sitting across from each other at the crossroads in Victoria Park, Parsons asked Johnson to teach her the Indigenous language of Mi’kmaw asking: Will you teach me your language? For several hours the two dialogued in both Mi’kmaq and English.
The duo collaborated again in 2015 for the Halifax Pride Festival Reading Out Loud Series where they recited poetry to each other remotely via Skype. Ursula Skyped from the Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site where she works during the summer months and Angella was live on-site at the Public Library in front of a large crowd.
This project, Fine Dine, was first exhibited at the CBU Art Gallery in a group exhibition titled (find the title of the show) . The series of photographs contain 6 images that depict Angella and Ursula engaging in the act of food consumption – the images were all made using an iPhone 4 Camera – at the time when food selfies were just beginning to be prominent within social media. The duo wanted to explore the themes of food consumption by women that has been previously encountered within the feminist art context and often associated as having components of the grotesque. Unlike the mass circulated food porn snapshots that depict appetizing presentations of meals in the moments prior to consumption Fine Dine subverts this social media phenomenon by showing food half eaten in poorly lit atmospheres. Johnson and Parsons invite the viewer into the not so glamorous private realm of their shared space of eating together.
Lia Rinaldo got her start in the film industry working for over 20+ years and specifically with the Atlantic Film Festival and Wormwood’s Dog & Monkey Cinema. Lia is now the Managing Director of Devour! The Food Film Fest in Wolfville, Nova Scotia – the world’s largest film festival dedicated to all things culinary. The festival takes place annually in the fall and has expanded to include satellite events throughout the year across Canada from Osoyoos, BC to Fogo Island, NL and around the world from Berlin to the Bahamas.
Lia was the recipient of the 2014 Gary MacDonald Culinary Ambassador of the Year Award (along with business partner, Michael Howell), the 2013 Progress Women of Excellence Award in Arts & Culture and has made the Chronicle Herald’s Arts & Life Honour Roll in 2013 & 2014.
She is a freelance food and travel writer including her current post as senior food writer at Halifax Curated Magazine, and has been a regular contributor to both Occasions Magazine and North American Traveller, while sporadically publishing to her own culinary blog, Seven’s a Banquet, Nine’s a Brawl (7B9B.com). She is a current member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, International Association of Culinary Professionals and Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.
A Curatorial Statement by Christopher Webb
The problem with becoming aware of something is that once you have a particular awareness it becomes impossible to make yourself unaware. It also greatly informs future choices.
Ursula Johnson and Angella Parsons are artists who collaborate personally and professionally. They were married in 2011 and are also the artistic, collaborative duo Kinuk. They have committed to not only being together but creating and spending their working lives together. The series of six photographs, located throughout the PAVIA locations, show the couple in the natural act of eating. As written in their artist statement, "The duo wanted to explore the themes of food consumption by women that has been previously encountered within the feminist art context and often associated as having components of the grotesque. Unlike the mass circulated food porn snapshots that depict appetizing presentations of meals in the moments prior to consumption the two chose to subvert this social media phenomenon by showing food half eaten in poorly lit atmospheres."
"PAVIA is a socially responsible gallery, café and caterer that blends together artistic expression, local sustainability and exceptional experiences." ~ PAVIA Mission Statement
Lia Rinaldo is currently the Managing Director of DEVOUR! The Food Film Fest. She is also a talented writer who takes food seriously and has a seriously humorous side. As it states in her food blog, 7b9b.com, "I apologize now for the improper use & overuse of the ellipses... consider it a pause where you either laugh or take another sip of wine. It could even be a drinking game. In fact, my friend Nicolle just pegged it: e-sip-ses!"
"Our food is made in our own kitchens, grown in our garden and purchased from local suppliers. For the items that aren’t available locally, we endeavour to purchase from completely sustainable sources. We strive for zero food waste." ~ PAVIA Mission Statement
PAVIA co-owner Victoria Foulger was recently nominated and won the Earnest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Atlantic Canada in the category of Hospitality & Tourism. During her acceptance speech she made reference to the fact that currently, as a business, PAVIA uses over 5,000 eggs per month and that in business the temptation is to continually source cheaper products. Although PAVIA pays 3 times the price for these eggs, the practice of battery farming is appalling and this is why Victoria decided early on to use only ethically-sourced eggs. But what then? What about sugar? Flour? Meats? Cheese? Soft drinks?
The answer is to continue to be awake and be open to change and growth. PAVIA recently switched to using fair-trade, organic sugar (Cocoa Camino), getting the little meat that they use from Meadowbrook Farms, Charcuterie Ratinaud (who sources from Oulton Farms) and Sweet Williams. Their Nova Scotia Cheese board features only local cheeses - Knoydart, That Dutchman and Urban Blu. They are in the process of sourcing regionally grown organic grains with the hopes of milling their own flour. They are also just about to move to using completely compostable to-go products for coffee cups, lids, containers, etc. They make multiple trips every week to Abundance Acres Farms and the Halifax Seaport Market. There is still lots of progress to be made, but they are on a path.
- Christopher Webb, Curator