Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts

A woman violinist in dark clothing plays her instrument while reading from a series of framed artworks seen from a long side angle
May 30, 2020 to August 9, 2020

Curated by Candice Hopkins and Dylan Robinson

How can a score be a call and tool for decolonization?

Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts features newly commissioned scores, performances, videos, sculptures and sound by Indigenous and other artists who respond to this question. Unfolding in a sequence of five parts, the scores take the form of beadwork, videos, objects, graphic notation, historical belongings, and written instructions. During the exhibition, these scores are activated at specific moments by musicians, dancers, performers and members of the public gradually filling the gallery and surrounding public spaces with sound and action.

The exhibition is cumulative, gathering an ever-changing community of artworks, shared experience and engagement as it travels. Soundings shifts and evolves, gaining new artists and players in each location. Some artworks have multiple parts, others change to their own rhythm as the exhibition grows.

At the core of the exhibition is a grounding in concepts of Indigenous land and territory. To move beyond the mere acknowledgement of land and territory here means offering instructions for sensing and listening to Indigenous histories that trouble the colonial imaginary. Soundings activates and asserts Indigenous resurgence through the actions these artworks call forth.

Artists: Raven Chacon and Cristóbal Martínez, Sebastian De Line, Maggie Groat, Kite, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Ogimaa Mikana, Peter Morin, Heidi Aklaseaq Senungetuk, Olivia Whetung and Tania Willard, with more performers, artists and composers invited to respond and create new works as the exhibition travels to each new venue. 


Sebastian De Line (Haudenosaunee-Métis-Cantonese descent; Bear Clan)
With Adria Kurchina-Tyson and Nathan Thanyehténhas Brinklow 
Walking Ohénton Karihwatéhkwen
(walking + words before all else)

Audio tour

Collection of the artist
Curators: Dylan Robinson & Candice Hopkins
Sound recording / engineering: Matt Rogalsky

Artist Sebastian De Line has created an audio tour based on the Ohénton Karihwatéhkwen (words before all else) also known as the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. The Ohénton Karihwatéhkwen are the words spoken at the start of the morning that give thanks to all of our relations. As it was taught to De Line by his/their family, these words are normally said while standing in place. Walking Ohénton Karihwatéhkwen is different in that it is based on relational movement, particularly circular flow akin to dance. 

The tracks were recorded on Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory in Ken’tarokwen (Kingston, Ontario) with the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Queen’s University, and are spoken in Kanien'keha, Anishinaabemowin, Cantonese, and English. This work is made available online with the permission of the artists, curators and ICI.

This performative sound piece encompasses a series of audio tracks, encouraging the exhibition visitor to walk through the indoor and outdoors spaces of the Gallery, while considering gratitude, loss, remembrance, relationality, learning and unlearning. Visitors to the Gallery are encouraged to refer to De Line’s track list and use their own cell phones for a self-guided tour through Soundings


Exhibition tour has been organized by Independent Curators International (ICI).

Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts is an exhibition curated by Candice Hopkins and Dylan Robinson, and organized by Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Canada. The traveling exhibition is organized by Independent Curators International (ICI). The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with the generous support from ICI’s International Forum and the ICI Board of Trustees. Additional support has been provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program, the Isabel and Alfred Bader Fund of Bader Philanthropies, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Kingston Arts Fund through the Kingston Arts Council, and the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund at Queen’s University.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the further support of the Musagetes Fund held at Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund. 

Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation logo recognizing The Musagetes Fund Bilingual logo for Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund  




Vancouver-based violinist/violist, composer and ethnomusicologist Parmela Attariwala performs Peter Morin’s score NDN Love Songs at Agnes Etherington Art Centre