Clara Ursitti: Amik
Clara Ursitti: Amik
Dates and times
This immersive new exhibition plays with ideas of exchange, bartering, trade and the histories of human, animal and botanic migration.
Through film, scent and sculptures, Glasgow-based Canadian artist, Clara Ursitti explores the links between Scotland – specifically Glasgow’s former Royal Exchange building, now home to GoMA – and Canadian fur-trading legacies, particularly the Hudson’s Bay Company.
The title for the exhibition, which translates as ‘beaver’ in Algonquin, a common language used by indigenous people in Canada, refers to the inspiration behind Ursitti’s work. With the beaver an iconic Canadian symbol relating to the British and French colonial eras, the artist regards the beaver pelt (skin) trade as crucial in defining the relationship of colonial settlers with the land and the natives they stole it from.
In the exhibition, Ursitti uses sculptures, including found objects; scent; film recordings and sound work from residencies in Canada; and a whole tree ethically sourced and prepared by Glasgow-based environmental community GalGael.
As part of her research, Ursitti collaborated with Katie Bruce, GoMA Producer/Curator, to study beaver histories in Scotland and the use of imported beaver pelts and other items contained within Glasgow Life Museums’ collection with connections to the history of the city’s Royal Exchange building. The Mitchell Library’s archives also helped the artist explore the Canadian fur trade’s ties to these shores.
Clara Ursitti said: “It’s been fun and fascinating to work with Katie and access material, both in Glasgow Life Museums’ collection and in The Mitchell Library archives, in the development of this new work. The opportunity to reflect on where I was born and raised in relation to the linked history of Glasgow and the GoMA building has been invaluable. I am also very grateful to all the people I worked with in Canada, including those from the Temagami, Teme-Augama Anishnabai, Nipissing, North Bay and Algonquin-Mètis communities, and at GalGael here in Glasgow.”
Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, G1 3AH