Public Art Piece by Jordan Bennett
Art and creative pursuits play a huge role in community health, mental wellness, and recreation. When construction began on the new Zatzman Sportsplex, we knew the facility needed a unique, interactive public art piece that would inspire our community to ask questions and honour K'jipuktuk's (Halifax's) rich history.
After receiving dozens of proposals from local artists, we were struck by Jordan's interesting, colourful concept that tells a story of K'jipuktuk from a Mi'kmaq perspective. Months of ideation, creation, and installation by Jordan, the IOTA Institute, and their team of professionals brought the Sportsplex an impressive piece of art that both residents and visitors will experience and enjoy for years to come. Read Jordan's artist bio below, as well as a description about the piece, titled Pjila’si (Welcome).
See Jordan Bennett's other public art installations and more at jordanbennett.ca.
Over the past 10 years, Jordan has participated in over 75 group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. He has been the recipient of several awards and honours, a Hnatyshan Foundation REVEAL award, presented with the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Councils Artist of the Year and named as one of the artists in the 2014 Blouin ARTINFO's Top 30 under 30 in Canada. Most notably, he has been long-listed for the 2015 and 2016 Sobey Art Award, and was short listed for the 2018 Awards. Jordan is currently partnered with IOTA: STUDIOS, and working on several projects including various artistic collaborations, public commissions and exhibitions, including a public art commission for the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth, N.S. and a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Jordan Bennett's ongoing practice utilizes painting, sculpture, video, installation and sound to explore land, language, the act of visiting, familial histories and challenging colonial perceptions of indigenous histories, stereotypes and presence with a focus on exploring Mi’kmaq and Beothuk visual culture.
This public art piece titled Pjila’si (Welcome), incorporates various materials, traditional Mi’kmaq motifs and colour to create an artwork that explores the various histories, traditions and contributions to sport in Mi’kma'ki such as the canoe, hockey, basketball and more. The piece speaks to growth, health, community, culture, family, inclusivity and respect.
Bennett's paintings are rooted in a deep history of porcupine quillwork, which is rich in pattern through shape, colour and composition. This artwork has made use of aluminium, oak, walnut, ash and maple wood, 3M road sign sheeting, and locally sourced labradorite, and aims to inspire those who visit to feel welcomed, supported and encouraged while engaging in their active and healthy lives inside these walls and continue while outside on the land.