Shannon Webb-Campbell guest curated the new exhibit now on display at the Campbell River Art Gallery. Photo by Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror

New exhibition at the Campbell River Art Gallery sheds light on reclamation, resurgence and the land

All of the artists featured in the new exhibition are First Nations

After the colourful members’ show that saw the walls of the Campbell River Art gallery packed with breathtaking local art, at first glance the space seems fairly empty now that the new exhibition has opened.

The two pieces that take up the most space on the walls are, in fact, poems, and one wall features screen shots from a piece of performance art that was filmed, but you have to get up close and personal to pick up on the details.

While the visuals seem sparse, once viewers immerse themselves in the works, the room fills with emotion and big thoughts.

“Inspired by a line by Mohawk poet Janet Rogers, this exhibition redefines ideas about Canada and it’s 500 year old relationship with Turtle Island through de-colonial poets, mythology and contemporary, multi-disciplinary Indigenous art practices,” said Shannon Webb-Campbell, guest curator of the new exhibit at the Campbell River Art Gallery.

Recover All That Is Ours opened on March 1 and features poems by Gwen Benaway and Janet Rogers and art by Lindsay Dobbin, Meagan Musseau, Meryl McMaster, Becca Taylor and Breanna and Niki Little.

Also new, in the satellite cases in the lobby of the gallery are three new, commissioned drawings by Walter Scott, of his ongoing Wendy cartoon.

“They talk about a little bit of anxiety in the art world,” said Vicky Chainey Gagnon, executive director and chief curator at the gallery.

All of the artists featured in the new exhibition are First Nations.

“These exhibitions, both Walter Scott and Recover All That is Ours, feature contemporary Indigenous artists and poets and they are very important to our community as well as the global world that we share,” said Chainey Gagnon. “They’re a way to talk about culture, a way to create new language to unhinge some of our histories and poetry that infuses the politics of our world today.”

Janet Rogers’ poem Make Sound, directs readers to walk on earth’s surface beside each other and with dignity, awakened, connected to stars, recalling our sound, said Webb-Campbell.

“This sonic and visual work invites viewers to awaken, reconnect and honour soul memory.”

To juxtapose Rogers’ poem, inviting viewers to Make Sound, is Lindsay Dobbin’s invitation to her audience to listen to the landscape with her Intertidal Cymbal Works.

“When you play a traditional drum you do not only hear the drum but the spirit of the animal, the tree, the place,’ says Dobbin,” Webb-Campbell said.

The connection to the land is also explored in the peices by Meryl McMaster.

“Through an intrinsic and ancestral connection to the land, Plains Cree artist Meryl McMaster’s photographic work connects the past, dreams and land through a tethering of red thread,” Webb-Campbell explained.

The work explores identity, self and indigenous knowledge systems, she added.

“Through embodiment and childlike innocence, McMaster’s work reconnects to the land, the body and spirit through elements of whimsy, ancestral knowing and contemplation.”

Holy Wild, a poem by two-spirit, trans poet Gwen Benaway dominates one of the walls in the gallery. It is provocative, sensual and sexual.

“Benaway’s poetic intervention, Holy Wild, is a rallying cry in the wilderness of our time,” Webb-Campbell said. “Benaway’s work begins and ends with the land and her poetic voice defies expectations and subverts category while examining intersections of identity.”

The eight film stills along the next wall are taken from a video that captured Meagan Musso’s land based performance in the wilderness near Banff.

She works with notions of memory, language and relationship between land and body, object and narrative, Webb-Campbell said.

In her performance, Musso wore her aunt’s seal skin boots and braided flagging tape.

Becca Taylor and Breanna and Niki Little also created a video, reclaiming their traditions, teachings and genetic memory by preparing animal hides in the Cree tradition, but in an urban setting.

“This is about process, about working with the hides and blood memory…. All of our grandmothers and great grandmothers prepared animal hide and it was lost for a generation or two. We reclaim this traditional practice in an urban environment,” Webb-Campbell said.

Also featured are a pair of earrings that were commissioned for the cover of Webb-Campbell’s new book, Who Took My Sister?

Recover All That Is Ours fuses artistic strategies like performance, land based creation, video, photography installation, poetry, each visual artist and poet seeks to shed light on reclamation, resurgence and the land,” Webb-Campbell said.

The exhibition runs through April 25.


@CRmirror_JDoll
jocelyn.doll@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Strathcona Gardens shuffles ice time to accommodate BCHL game ousted by ammonia leak at Port Alberni rink

Campbell River’s Rod Brind’Amour Arena will host a British Columbia Hockey League… Continue reading

Local salon raises $5,300 for Ovarian Cancer Canada

Affected team member catalyst for fundraiser

BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs set to play in Campbell River after ice rink closure

City of Port Alberni waiting on Technical Safety BC approval to re-open multiplex

Campbell River RCMP investigating after two stabbing incidents Tuesday night

Police are treating each case separately and have one person in custody

Campbell River celebrates National Child Day on Friday

Annual event at Community Centre recognizes the rights of children and lets them let loose for a day

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Killer who fled to Taiwan day after shooting B.C. man over $80 sentenced 13 years later

The sentence comes 13 years after Shaoxin Zhang, 19, was killed in a Burnaby parking lot

Most Read