A Gathering for Her by Reona Brass

March 23, 2002Native Canadian Centre, 16 Spadina Road, Toronto11:00 am to 3:00 pm

FADO is proud to present the premiere of¬†A Gathering for Her, a new performance installation by Reona Brass. This work is presented as part of FADO’s Public Spaces / Private Places¬†series.

As a performance and installation-based artist, Reona Brass explores concepts of ritual, transgression and resistance. Through the use of various prolonged and/or repeated actions, Brass explores the construction and meaning of these concepts. In A Gathering for Her, Brass will make preparations in a room at The Native Canadian Centre to be bound into a reconstructed ‘cradleboard’, a rite of passage denied her by a broken history. Referring to the rite of binding a child too young to walk, Brass will seek knowledge and comfort as she learns to take on the attributes of patience and humility.

The development of this project was funded in part through the Performing Arts Programme of The Laidlaw Foundation.


Our own actions are what we can wish or hope from humanity.
~E. Santamaria, Deep Sleep

As a performance and installation-based artist, I am interested in how the discourse, and practice of, compassion, struggle, growth, transformation, ritual and survival relate to contemporary indigenous culture. The first in a new series of works, A Gathering for Her is based on inquiries into and reflections upon Saulteaux rites of passage for women. Specifically, this work is based upon the rite of binding a child too young to walk. I seek to develop my knowledge of this rite away from all force of habit and scars of history. My intention is to bring about the experience of self -discovery from the private sphere into the public. A Gathering for Her is both metaphor and transformation. The boiled beet root, sewing machines and mattress are all chosen for their feminine qualities and histories. The actions are both predictable and unexpected. A parallel for the cultural evolution and matriarchal values that struggle to emerge. This is a real time action across real time passing. A moment now, or an hour later, you bear witness and take part.

Reona Brass, March 2002







Books & Ephemera

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer