Julie Bull’s exhibit Settle Down, Settlers! will open at the Kings Playhouse gallery in Georgetown on September 29 at 7 pm. The opening will include a welcome featuring Julie Pellissier-Lush, a spoken-word performance by Bull accompanied by various local actors, including Adam Brazier and Rory Starkman, a small Indigenous artisan’s market, food, refreshments, resources, and the full art exhibit, which will be on display until November 6.
Settle Down, Settlers! is above all else, a call to action. Created and curated by queer Inuk interdisciplinary academic-turned-artist, Julie Bull, this mixed media exhibit explores themes of (de)colonization, queerness and identity, Indigeneity, and sovereignty. In a world where we are all influenced and impacted by colonization, Bull has taken to poetry and visual art to explore and navigate their transition from the intellectual to the emotional, and their own healing journey to decolonize their mind, body, heart, and spirit.
Settle Down, Settlers! is presented by Kings Playhouse beginning September 29, the day before the first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day is a new statutory holiday, a day off work. The Government of Canada invites white settler Canadians to engage in “quiet reflection” or “participation in a community event.”
Bull’s exhibit offers an opportunity to not only engage with this day, but to take action.
Settle Down, Settlers! is about walking your talk. It’s about slowing down. It’s about paying attention and listening. The truths coming to light for white settler Canadians are stories Indigenous people have been sharing for years, desperate to be heard or forced into silent shadows. Action spurred from the awareness of these events without any real, deep, personal reflection is irresponsible and often causes more harm. The creation of this exhibit is one action that Bull could take from a deeply connected and deeply hurt place. Taking in this exhibit is just one small action you can take. It will not be comfortable: Growth happens when we are uncomfortable. Connect, reflect, and then continue to take actions toward decolonizing yourselves and our systems.
Kings Playhouse is located at 65 Grafton Street, Georgetown.