Kelly Greene: Continuing Accountability

Continuing Accountability
Kelly Greene
April 21 - May 17, 2022
Artlab Gallery

The Artlab Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition titled “Continuing Accountability” by current Indigenous Artist-In-Residence Kelly Greene. Presented in partnership with the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the Department of Arts and Humanities, this exhibit brings together work completed by Greene over the course of her nearly thirty year artistic career. 


This exhibit is a continuation of my exhibit “Accountability” that was briefly on display at McIntosh Gallery for a week in March, 2020 before everything shut down. But “Accountability” has another meaning besides referring to the previous exhibit, as this word was and is the premise for both shows, since it encompasses the concepts of the artworks.

Some topics include alternative viewpoints of historic occurrences once viewed as celebratory by most, though now wondering when history books will be changed. And since recent revelations have been made of resulting conditions from enforced ownership, we may question how reparation can be made.

Yet despite it all, somehow Indigenous cultures, traditions, and languages are still alive. Although they’ve struggled to remain alive, the onus to pass knowledge from one generation to the next is imperative so nothing more will be lost.

Moreover, it is the responsibility all humans must now offer to care for our Earth, our Mother, who has endured much devastation especially during the past century after the industrial revolution and the rise of technological advancements. We are now in a position to make drastic changes to ensure that the future may somehow be free from the current conditions we’re experiencing, resulting from us making strides without heed of repercussions.

My hope is we’ll be able to outrun the machine we’ve created.

Humanity's Vast Responsibility
, 2009, Mixed Media
Photo credit: Richard Lawler

Kelly Greene is a multi-media artist whose work includes painting, sculpture, installation, and photography. She is of Mohawk-Oneida-Sicilian ancestry, a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, and a descendant of the Turtle Clan.

Greene has lived in London, Ontario since 1989 where she obtained a BFA from the University of Western Ontario. She began her visual art studies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she moved with her family when she was a child. 

She has exhibited in Canada and the United States for over thirty years in solo and group exhibits, primarily at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario but also Banff, Alberta; Vancouver, B.C.; Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and London, Ontario; Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Howes Cave, New York. Her work is in numerous public and private collections, and in 2012 and 2015 she was commissioned to complete two permanent outdoor installations at the Woodland Cultural Centre. She has been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council and was most recently awarded the first Indigenous Artist in Residence at Western University in 2021.

Her art focuses primarily on environmental and political topics, as well as revealing stereotypes that are still prevalent towards Indigenous cultures, using ironic humour when possible. Recognizing the impact colonization has had on our Earth and the First People who have always lived on the land now known as Canada, Greene specifically refers to the Haldimand Treaty granted to the people of Six Nations, as well as the Mohawk Institute Residential School, or “Mush Hole”, where her beautiful Grandma attended in the 1920’s. Another concern is Colony Collapse Disorder, or the current plight of bees vanishing due to pesticides and monoculture. The ever-alarming condition of our planet has inspired Greene to create works that represent our Mother Earth as human, appealing to our species’ egocentricity, hoping empathy will be instilled and respect given so future generations will continue to be revived and thrive.

Reviewed by Madeline Lennon:

Walkthrough Filmed and Edited by Gregory De Souza.