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Backwards and Forwards: Reflections in Porcupine Quills

Opening Reception: Saturday July 30 | 1-3 pm

The Aurora Cultural Centre is excited to announce our second public gallery reception at our temporary home: Aurora Town Hall. Please join us Saturday July 30 from 1-3 pm for snacks and refreshments, and the opportunity to meet the artist in-person. All are welcome to attend.  

Our gallery is located on the second floor of the Aurora Town Hall.  For the reception, please enter through the Third Floor Entrance of the Aurora Town Hall. Parking is available in the upper/North parking lot.  

Can’t make the reception? Visit the gallery during our walk-in hours: Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays 10:00 am -3:00pm.   

About Backwards and Forwards: Reflections in Porcupine Quills 

Vanessa Dion Fletcher is a Lenape and Potawatomi neurodiverse Artist. Reflecting on an Indigenous and gendered body with a neurodiverse mind, Dion Fletcher creates art using composite media, primarily working in performance, textiles and video. 

Backwards and Forwards: Reflections in Porcupine Quills features recent quillworks (2020-present) by Vanessa Dion Fletcher. These works range from intimate pieces on paper to large mural installations. At the core is a negotiation between the artist’s hands and porcupine quills. She pulls them from the body of a porcupine, stains them using natural and synthetic dyes, handpicks each quill based on its color, shape, and size, and bends them onto paper with thread. The building up of the quills form abstract shapes and lines that are elemental and can be interpreted in multiple ways, where a circle in quillwork can represent time, a color wheel, and a portal all at once. Slowness is an important political aspect of Dion Fletcher’s practice. The making is inherently slow, and the intended experience for the viewers is also slow, where one slowly follows the lines and details of the quillwork and gradations of color. Slowness is also a reflection on neurodiversity, where ‘being slow’ is a derogatory term used for those who are neurodiverse. In emphasizing slowness through porcupine quills, Vanessa Dion Fletcher claims indigeneity in process and craft but also approaches and understandings of neurodiversity and disability. Backwards and Forwards, in title, not only suggests a reverse way of reading, but also a looking back to be able to move forward. 

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