Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, The sky held me (rainfall on hands hair lips) will be postponed until June 2023. New dates and times will be shared via our website and social media channels.
The sky held me (rainfall on hands hair lips) was intended to be a series of springtime site-specific performance investigations taking place at High Park over the course of five days. Building upon the interdisciplinary practice of artist Tanya Lukin Linklater and her work in the Biennial, Held in the air I never fell (spring lightning sweetgrass song), these process-based open rehearsals will bring Linklater together with invited dancers Ivanie Aubin-Malo and Ceinwen Gobert, and composer/musician Laura Ortman to generate resonant embodied inquiries. Bordered to the west by Grenadier Pond and covered in a system of wetlands, High Park is a place of synergy between land and water. During these sustained sessions, Lukin Linklater will lead a collective performance in response to scores she has penned, as well as to the surroundings of High Park during the spring—a particularly generative season that invites us to take cues from the sky above us.
Check the TBA Instagram account (@torontobiennial) for live updates.
This project is made possible with the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, Dickinson Wright LLC, The Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation, and the Women Leading Initiative.
Image Caption: Tanya Lukin Linklater, How we mark land and how land marks us, video still, 2017. Performed by: Tanya Lukin Linklater with Laura Ortman, Elisa Harkins, and Hanako Hoshimi-Caines. Courtesy of the artist.
Ceinwen Gobert was raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and later graduated with distinction from the collaborative BA program at the University of Calgary and the School of Alberta Ballet. She is a Toronto based multidisciplinary artist and has had the pleasure of interpreting works for a number of choreographers and companies, including Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Van Grimde Corps Secrets, W&M Physical Theatre, Paul-Andre Fortier, Darryl Tracy, Brian Solomon, Signal Theatre, and Tanya Lukin Linklater. Ceinwen worked with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre from 2004-2016, was a company member with Van Grimde Corps Secrets from 2005-2009, and has been dancing for Tanya Lukin-Linklater since 2013. In addition to her work as a dancer, Ceinwen is a visual artist (@ceigart) and co-owner of Summit Massage Studio.
Wolastoq and Quebecois dancer, choreographer and curator Ivanie Aubin-Malo invests herself in projects that reflect on ecology and human ethics regarding our environment. She has also danced Fancy Shawl, a powwow style, since 2015, connecting with the spirit of transformation and celebrating women’s audacity. Her artistic research as a creator aims to shed light on the beauty of the Wolastoqey language and its relation to the land and the body. Ivanie additionally contributes to connecting Indigenous movement-based artists in order to break isolation, cultivate inspiration, facilitate knowledge sharing, and encourage certain experimental collaborations. With this intention, she has helped spark recurring events in and around Montreal/Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyang: MAQAHATINE (Tangente and l’Agora de la danse, 2020-2022, Tangente 2023-2025); OHAKWARONT (CCOV, 2022-) and Nikak Tagocniok (Théâtre Gilles-Vigneault, 2023-). As a dancer, she regularly collaborates with Tanya Lukin Linklater and has worked with k.g Guttman, Andreane Leclerc, Corpuscule Danse, Lara Kramer and Alexandre Morin, amongst others. Alongside Natasha Kanapé-Fontaine, she is currently co-creating a performance on wolastoqiyik and Innuat giants and oral stories. Recently based in L’Islet (QC), Ivanie plans to open a Wolastoqey Cultural Center where culture can be celebrated and revitalized in the area while connecting with others.
Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache, lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) is a soloist musician and composer creating across multiple platforms and is versed in Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, and amplified violin. She has collaborated with artists such as Tony Conrad, Jock Soto, Raven Chacon, Nanobah Becker, Okkyung Lee, Martin Bisi, Jeffrey Gibson, Caroline Monnet, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Martha Colburn, and In Defense of Memory. She has performed at countless venues across the US, Canada and Europe including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, The Stone residency, The New Museum, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, The Toronto Biennial, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. In 2008 Ortman founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Indigenous orchestral ensemble. Most recently, Ortman was the recipient of the 2022 United States Artists Fellowship and 2022 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists and was a participating artist in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.
Tanya Lukin Linklater’s performances, works for camera, installations, and writings cite Indigenous dance and visual art lineages, our structures of sustenance, and weather as an organizing force. She undertakes embodied inquiry and rehearsal in relation to scores and ancestral belongings in museums and elsewhere alongside dance artists, composers, and poets. Through collaboration, her work reckons with histories that affect Indigenous peoples’ lived experiences, (home)lands, and ideas. She continues to write in relation to what she has come to call felt structures. Her forthcoming and recent exhibitions include the 14th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; Aichi Triennale, Japan; Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver; Chicago Architecture Biennial; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; Heard Museum, Phoenix; Jan Kaps, Cologne; La Biennale de Montréal; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Oakville Galleries, Ontario; New Museum Triennial, New York; Remai Modern, Saskatoon; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Toronto Biennial of Art; and Winnipeg Art Gallery. Tanya Lukin Linklater is represented by Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. She is the recipient of the Wexner Center for the Arts Artist Residency Award and The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Slow Scrape, her first collection of poetry, was published by The Centre for Expanded Poetics and Anteism, Montréal (2020) with a second edition published by Talonbooks, Vancouver (2022). Her Sugpiaq homelands, Afognak and Port Lions, are in southwestern Alaska, and she lives and works in Nbisiing Anishinaabeg aki in Ontario. Participated in the “Contingencies of Care” Residency, 2021.