PEI

'She is a human being': P.E.I. artists explore reconciliation in new street exhibit

A Mi'kmaq photographer and a painter of European ancestry have joined together to create an art exhibit in Charlottetown about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

'We have so far to go because people don't even realize that we're here'

Patricia Bourque, left, and Maria Campbell pose next to their work on Victoria Row. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

A Mi'kmaq photographer and a painter of European ancestry have joined together to create an art exhibit in Charlottetown about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The exhibit is titled She Is. Maria Campbell said the idea developed out of her concern over talk in the media about how murder victims could be your daughter or sister or mother.

"Settlers shouldn't need to connect that individual to someone within their own circle in order to empathize and understand the tragedies that are present through the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis," said Campbell.

"She is a human being. She is your sister."

Campbell said she felt it was important to have Indigenous input on the project, and so she connected with Patricia Bourque. Bourque photographed members of her Mi'kmaq community in traditional clothing, and Campbell recreated those photographs in paint on Plexiglas.

A father and daughter are depicted in this painting, part of the She Is exhibit, on Peakes Quay. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Bourque said she was excited to work with Campbell on the project. She said she wants to see public art that goes beyond the celebration of Confederation.

"I want to see more Mi'kmaq representation not only just in Charlottetown but across Prince Edward Island," said Bourque.

"We have so far to go because people don't even realize that we're here."

The paintings will be on display for another month on Victoria Row and at Peake's Quay.

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With files from Island Morning

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