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November 15 - 29, 2019
Treaty Space Gallery

Colonialism isn't just about land and economics. Our minds

and ways of being have been compromised. Regardless of one's culture or background, there are societal pressures relating to constant progression in the realms of education, physical abilities, work, economics, and relationships. These pressures are hard to ignore, and our main methods of escaping these troubling issues, such

as social media, are filled with messages that not only reinforce

but amplify the colonialist undertones of our collective communities. Even if we wish to separate ourselves from these themes, we are left with the residual consequences that colonialism leaves in its wake. Concerns of climate change, discrimination, wars over resources, and economic worries plague even our downtime, which forces people to become activists in order to make an effective change about something they care about. Activist burnout, which causes activists to disengage from their activism, is a formidable barrier

to sustainability.

The cultures of these movements often disregard the importance of self-care, seeing it as self-indulgence, putting activists at even higher risks of burnout. The pressure we put on ourselves is unhealthy and we are in need of systemic change. People are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of perceived responsibilities that are imposed on our society. This issue can lead to anxiety disorders and depression, which goes largely undiagnosed and untreated. These issues are greatly exacerbated by the current doctor shortage we are experiencing in Nova Scotia, as well as other factors like stigmatization and the colonial framework of mental health. 

With the guiding concept of two-eyed seeing (which refers to learning to see from one way with the strengths of indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of western knowledges and ways of knowing together

for the benefit of all), we hope to bring awareness, discussion,

and multiple perspectives to the forefront. Through this exhibition we hope to provide a forum that fosters meaning, purpose, belonging, and hope among people dealing with mental health issues and show what it looks like to be burned...


Curated by MAED students Kayla Rudderham and Alexia Mitchell, DOWN TO THE WICK was a 2019 exhibition that focused on themes of mental wellness from a two-eyed seeing perspective. Composing of 5 different submissions from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, the exhibition also included a number of community events as well as a comfort space for any visitors. 

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