Fluid fossils, which was created specifically for this public space, is composed of a series of silhouetted figures whose surfaces are a collage of patterns drawn from nature – fossils, stones, plant life, shells, water, clouds, snow, ice.
Anna Binta Diallo’s mural
Anna Binta Diallo’s characters are inspired by found images that she traces by hand, evoking –explicitly or implicitly – a process of fossilization and preservation. Each has its own history; together, they create a community of great diversity. Time is at the heart of the mural: the time it takes to walk the length of the wall and reflect on the many moments that are represented; the anachronism of the silhouettes, from contemporary figures to those that seem to be antique sculptures or from Renaissance paintings. We are involved in a process of active looking as we move in close to view the details and step back to grasp the narrative arc. Diallo invites us to reflect on our own place in history and, more importantly, of the responsibility we bear to protect and celebrate the fragile heritage that was transmitted to us. We are encouraged to recognize that the objects, gestures, and materials that we produce in unfettered quantities today will become fossils in the future. Diallo asks what traces will be left for future generations.
Anna Binta Diallo is a multidisciplinary visual artist who explores themes of memory and nostalgia to create unexpected works about identity. She was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1983, grew up in Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, and has lived for more than fifteen years in Montreal/Tiohtiá:ke/Mooniyang. She is currently an assistant professor in the School of Art at the University of Manitoba, on Treaty 1 land, the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples and the Métis Nation. She is represented in Canada by Towards Gallery.