Mike MacDonald: Planting one Another

20 May 2023 to 21 October 2023

Curated by Lisa Myers
Produced in partnership with the Woodland Cultural Centre (Brantford)

A project with care and coexistence at its core, Planting one Another features a twin re-planting of a Medicine and Butterfly garden by the late Mi’kmaw artist Mike MacDonald (1941-2006). Comprised primarily of plants that are indigenous to the Americas, the two gardens will be cared for by two organizations situated within the Haldimand Tract: the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and the original site where the garden was first planted, the Woodland Cultural Centre. 

MacDonald created gardens to make space for contemplation and to invite slow looking and interaction with medicine plants. Over five years, from the late 1980s into the early 1990s, MacDonald recorded testimony and created visual documents for the Gitxsan and Wet'suwet’en during their land claim challenges. While on location for a video shoot near Kitwanga BC in an area threatened by clear-cut logging, MacDonald’s encounters with butterflies inspired his understanding of their connection to medicine plants and healing. This was the seed of his numerous in-situ butterfly gardens created from 1995 to 2003 across the country from the Presentation House, North Vancouver to Mount Saint Vincent Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

KWAG's Public Programs department has prepared downloadable lesson plans that encourage children and youth to learn more about this project and biodiversity in their own communities. Visit our Education page to learn more and download lesson plans for all grade levels.

Visit KWAG's exhibition resource guide for Planting One Another to dive deeper into your garden experience. 

Planting one Another is kindly supported by GSP Group and MTE.

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