Travelers waiting for their luggage in the Terminal 1 International baggage hall will discover something inspiring on which to rest their eyes: new art by seven local artists that capture the endless possibility of travel and ambition. Ambition Takes Flight consists of paintings, sculptures and mixed media works by a diverse group of Canadian artists. These creations offer passengers waiting for their luggage a moment to dream about their own journeys and connections. A total of 157 artists originally applied to have their work shown at Person, with seven selected as winners. In partnership with CIBC, the exhibit runs throughout this year. Check out this week's featured Ambition Takes Flight artist featured below.
A celebration captured in swirling colours and movement
The inspiration behind artist Richael Laking’s Mitakuyepi (All My Relations) is a celebration of Indigenous women from all four directions.
“Often, we are misrepresented in the media from a colonial lens,” says Laking. “I think it’s important that people see us in our true strength and beauty when they first set foot on Turtle Island in Pearson Airport.”
Laking has been artistically interpreting the world and her surroundings since she was old enough to pick up a pencil. Her father recognized her artistry at a young age and nurtured its development while raising her and as a child, Laking attended powwows with her dad in the Thunder Bay area. She says she still remembers the beat of the drums coursing through her body.
“I was immediately transfixed by the fancy shawl dancers,” says Laking. “The speed of their feet and the twirl of colours was breathtaking.”
Laking’s life experiences and her nascent journey of decolonization inspire her work as an artist. She hopes in turn that her art moves viewers to learn more about the diversity of Indigenous nations and voices, in addition to inspiring them with her artworks’ colour and sense of movement.
“Through learning and understanding, we will learn how to respect and love while eradicating negative stereotypes and misinformation,” says Laking.
In the future, Laking hopes to experiment more in sculpture and other mediums. Now firmly rooted in Toronto, she is excited to travel and connect with other Indigenous artists around the globe.
Materials: Acrylic paint on canvas
Follow Richael Laking on Instagram.
Terminal 1, International Baggage Hall, carousel 7