alyssum, white stone
60 feet x 8 feet 8 inches
Garden Sign copy:
During the last twenty-five years, St. Catharines-based artist Elizabeth Chitty has explored ideas of place, frequently addressing issues of land ownership, governance, and treaties. In this artist’s garden, Chitty responds to the Two Row Wampum, the 1613 agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Europeans that outlines a commitment to friendship, peace between peoples, and living in parallel forever—as long as the grass is green, as long as the rivers flow downhill, and as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
The garden was planted by the artist and youth from First Nations, settler, and new settler communities during a day of Haudenosaunee teachings, drumming and dancing, food, and art activities. Purple and white alyssum is laid out in a representation of the Two Row, with a path of white stone forming the central row. At this time of reconciliation, Chitty reminds us that we are all treaty people, and invites you to walk this path in contemplation of our role in honoring the Two Row Wampum.
The exhibition continues inside.
Exhibited in Elizabeth Chitty: The Grass Is Still Green, at Rodman Hall Art Centre, 2016. This exhibition was winner of the 2017 OAAG Award, Exhibition of the Year Under, $10,000. Other works in the exhibition: Walking the Talk and The Grass Is Still Green.
With thanks to Niagara Nurseries for providing me with greenhouse space.
Many thanks to Kelly Fran Davis who provided the Two Row teaching on Planting Day. I acknowledge many teachings generously offered over many years and thank Rick Hill for his teaching and our conversation about my engagement as a settler with wampum belts.
Photos: Marcie Bronson, Elizabeth Chitty, Jimmy Limit