Quarantine in Wanuskewin an artistic venture
- Andréa Ledding | December 21, 2020
Curtis Peeteetuce is quarantined for fourteen days. Luckily for him, he gets to spend it all at Wanuskewin. Peeteetuce is Wanuskewin’s current artist-in-residence and is doing a two-week “quarantine inside a quarantine” in their new artist space called “payēkwac - In Solitude.”
“I’m 14 days living inside Wanuskewin, doing projects,” explained Peeteetuce, who is painting pictures, making music, zooming with people, doing check-ins on YouTube every day, as well as some livestreaming and writing. “So, people can watch me sleep. I’m in a very large building with land that’s 6000 years of cultural history. I’ve got to get used to that.”
He is going out on the land and trails and doing a series of vlogs. He says the hardest part to get used to is sleeping on a cot inside a room where the lights go on every time he moves.
“I’m working on a new play tentatively called “Stew” produced by GTNT in the spring and summer. Hopefully by then we can get small amounts of audience,” says Peeteetuce. “I’ve been commissioned to write a comedy. I have to try and keep as much positivity as possible or embrace when I’m feeling irritable or grouchy or sad or mad — and turn that into something positive.”
Writing a comedy that has nothing to do with the pandemic is a challenge, he observed, but he is engaged in several endeavours to keep him busy.
“It’s a different kind of artist in residency because I’m not really a visual artist so I have to tailor this residency around the things I know. I’m not creating sculptures or beading that is usually characteristic of Wanuskewin,” he said, adding that he hopes the unique residency will open people’s eyes to what we can do in quarantine, “and inspire them to how we think about art, so we don’t have to lose anything that’s live, like theatre.”
Additional challenges of the quarantine are living inside Wanuskewin for two weeks, with just what he has packed for himself to do.
“When we are in isolation in our own homes, we have everything to get us through to cope. That’s our abode and sanctuary. This is not my home and I don’t have things to cope. I just have the land out there when I need to feel a bit of freedom, to walk out on the trails. My only connection to people will be through my zoom visits,” noted Peeteetuce. “Wanuskewin is open Wednesday to Sunday, so I’m not anticipating a whole lot of public to see me, so that’s why I think we can take advantage of YouTube and the virtual world.”
He will be doing daily check-ins at noon and 4 pm on the Wanuskewin social media. YouTube also streams for 12 hours at a time, so he will be doing streams as well where you can see what he is up to. His residency ends on December 21st, 2020.