COURTNEY M. LEONARD | BREACH: LOGBOOK 24 | SCRIMSHAW

New Bedford Whaling Museum | New Bedford, MA June 14, 2024 - November 3, 2024

Courtney M. Leonard:
BREACH: LOGBOOK 24 | SCRIMSHAW


New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford, MA

June 14 through November 3, 2024

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION


Courtney M. Leonard (Shinnecock, b.1980) is a multi-media installation artist, ceramicist, and filmmaker, who has contributed to the Offshore Art movement. In collaboration with museums, cultural institutions, and indigenous communities in North America, New Zealand, Nova Scotia, and the United States Embassies, Leonard’s practice investigates narratives of Indigenous food sovereignty, marine life, and human environmental impact.

Leonard‚Äôs largest body of work to date, titled BREACH, is an ongoing exploration of the historical and contemporary ties between place, community, whales, and the maritime environment. The various iterations of the project, created for individual institutions and settings, investigate the multiple definitions of the term ‚Äúbreach.‚ÄĚ A ‚Äúbreach‚ÄĚ is a break, a gap in a wall, a river overflowing to breach its banks. Legally, breach means the failure to abide by the law or observe an agreement; it is a violation or infraction, a breach of trust. Breach also describes the act of a whale breaking the surface to rise above the open water. To ‚Äústep into the breach‚ÄĚ implies moving into the unknown. BREACH is an ongoing artistic exploration of these multiple meanings, engaging environmental vulnerabilities and the settler state‚Äôs failure to uphold relations and treaties with coastal Indigenous nations.

Leonard’s works conjure the remains of whales, waterfront industrial infrastructure, and oyster shells, evoking community ties to water, Shinnecock scientific knowledge, and current practices for mitigating coastal erosion and water contamination. Such works enact healing and celebrate resiliency and joy on unceded lands and waters. Leonard will produce an entirely new body of work for the installation at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, which continues her interest in coastal communities and historical whaling, while engaging the museum’s history, collections, and community partnerships with culture bearers from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, also known as the People of the First Light.

BREACH: Logbook 24 | SCRIMSHAW will be opening with the twined exhibition ‚ÄúThe Wider World and Scrimshaw,‚ÄĚ which takes the Museum‚Äôs scrimshaw collection (objects carved by whalers on the byproducts of marine mammals) and places it in conversation with carved decorative arts and material culture made by Indigenous community members from across the Pacific and Arctic.

Courtney M. Leonard:
BREACH: LOGBOOK 24 | SCRIMSHAW


New Bedford Whaling Museum | New Bedford, MA
June 14 through November 3, 2024

EVENTS

Exhibition Opening Reception
Friday, June 14, 2024 | 5:00-7:00 pm

Members and invitees of the New Bedford Whaling Museum only
RSVP required
Members who would like to RSVP to the opening reception can email membership@whalingmuseum.org or call Gillian Fournier at 508-717-6853

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE NEW BEDFORD WHALING MUSEUM

Conversation with Artist Courtney M. Leonard
Friday, October 4, 2024 | 6pm
$10 for museum members, $20 for non-members

Join the New Bedford Whaling Museum on Friday, October 4 for a special edition of the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s First Friday series, featuring an artist talk, full access to the museum, a lite reception and more.

Presented in conversation with the exhibition, BREACH: Logbook 24 | SCRIMSHAW on view June 1 to November 3, 2024. Q&A to follow.

Leonard will be joined by artist¬†HOLLY MITITQUQ NORDLUM, an I√Īupiaq artist working to revitalize the tradition of Inuit tattoo in Alaska. Nordlum trained with Maya Sialuk Jacobsen, an Inuit tattooist from Greenland. A growing cadre of Indigenous female practitioners see the reclaiming of tattoo as a way to heal from colonization and as a statement of pride and cultural affiliation. Many are mentored through Nordlum‚Äôs Tupik Mi apprenticeship program.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

PRESS

Scrimshaw Takes Over the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Summer Exhibitions

The Wider World & Scrimshaw and Shinnecock artist Courtney M. Leonard’s BREACH: Logbook 24 | SCRIMSHAW explore sites of encounter and exchange across the Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

Courtney Leonard Artist Portrait

Courtney M. Leonard is an artist and filmmaker, who has contributed to the Offshore Art movement. Leonard‚Äôs current work embodies the multiple definitions of ‚Äúbreach‚ÄĚ, an exploration and documentation of historical ties to water, whale and material sustainability.

In collaboration with national and international museums, cultural institutions, and indigenous communities in North America, New Zealand, Nova Scotia, and the United States Embassies, Leonard’s practice investigates narratives of cultural viability as a reflection of environmental record.