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New Campbell River Art Gallery exhibit explores questions of place

Interrelations: a third perspective opened June 9
Artist Abdi Osman’s new exhibit explores place and place-making. It will be at the Campbell River Art Gallery until August. Photo supplied

Campbell River Art Gallery’s latest exhibition “Interrelations: a third perspective” by Abdi Osman, explores questions of place and place-making through a focus on water as a migratory body and living relation.

Interrelations explores questions of place and place-making through a focus on water.

“Water brings with it complex histories of global Indigeneity and diaspora, enslavement and indentureship, (im)migration and freedom-seeking,” a CRAG release says. “With every tide these histories come to the fore, reminding us of water’s ongoing-ness as a force that has brought and continues to bring diverse peoples to these territories.”

For this project, Osman, a Somali-Canadian artist, responds to this complex region and its many histories in a new multi-media work made in situ, as well as through a series of collaborations with artists, writers and facilitators.

The exhibition opens on June 9 with a reception, as well as a curator and artist talk from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. The exhibition will run at the gallery until August 19, with additional pieces on display amongst public outdoor settings in Campbell River.

Osman’s work focuses on questions of black masculinity as it intersects with Muslim and queer identities. His artistic practice is concerned with representations of belonging in local, national and diasporic contexts. As a queer artist, he is implicated in the communities he documents, and as such, is inspired by his own friends, family and communities, with whom he often collaborates.

One of those collaborations is with curator Ellyn Walker. Osman and Walker have collaborated on a few projects over the years, and this one extends their collaborative practice around complicating representations of belonging in the settler colonial context of Canada, bringing their attention to questions of diaspora in relation to the complex site of Campbell River, British Columbia, in particular, as visitors/guests to unceded Indigenous territories.

Walker’s own work explores similar questions of representation, especially the intersections between whiteness, diaspora, heteropatriachy, settler-colonialism, and capitalism, within contemporary museum practice, critical art history, and Canadian visual culture. Her work is inspired by Black feminism, Indigenous methodologies, queer phenomenology, and critical settler studies, and is driven by an ongoing commitment to social justice in all its forms.

The Campbell River Art Gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. See ‘Interrelations’ from June 9 to August 19.

To register for the opening reception on June 9 go to!event/2023/6/9/interrelations-opening-reception-artist-talk-with-abdi-osman.

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