Afuwa, Zoe Cire, Melody Markle and jaz whitford

Curated by Emily Dundas Oke

Being led forward, as if through an embrace or by a tender hand, visitors are invited to enter this exhibition as the artworks chart pathways forward. Prompted by the text Before Dispossession, or Surviving It[1], the exhibition responds to the call:

Am I telling you a story?

         Make a map and not a tracing

         Make a map and not a tracing

         ….

Collected here are a number of visual signifiers, forever connected to specific places, histories, memories, and constellations, that act as signposts. They chart the inextricable relationality of place with a firm yet shifting understanding of the past. Cartography (the practice of mapping), and closely linked systems of legislation, have been used to fragment story and people from place. May we propose a reading of land, sky, and waters that cannot be untied from memory. May we consider what it means to hold, to carry, and to in turn be held.


[1]  Angie Morril, Eve Tuck, and the Super Futures Haunt Qollective

About the artists

Zoe Cire

As an interdisciplinary painter, I work to project the notion of kin and memory while emphasizing a relatable sense of place and time. My paintings are reminiscent of many seasons spent within what is known to me as the bush. ​ The bush exists purely as forested land- where human life and ecological life are interdependent. My work has interdependency between material and subject, accentuating a realm of familiarity. I utilize unconventional materials to paint on, such as tarps. Tarps are semiotically loaded with association, often that of utilitarian use correlating with bush life. The melding of man and nature creates an intimate resurgence of indigeneity.Recalling forms of shelter and that of a tool, tarps are multifunctional and integral in catalyzing an experience.The entirety of the vision though completed by the viewer still returns to the Indigenous landscape and  presentness.

Melody Markle

Melody Markle is an Algonquin Anishinaabe artist from Long Point, Winneway First Nation. For generations, her family has shared their artistic gifts through both traditional and contemporary forms, using Woodland style inspired by nature and the land. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work at Ryerson University. Melody has exhibited her artwork in “Moving Throughlines” at Seymour Art Gallery and hopes to continue to showcase her art forms.

Jaz Whitford

jaz is a 2 spirit anti-professional, working as an interdisciplinary artist centering community care, ancestral connections and qtpoc relief. they live semi-nomadically, along the unceded west coast of turtle island as well as the interior of so-called british columbia. jaz’s ancestry ties them to unceded secwepemculecw in the southern interior of so-called british columbia and more distantly to Scotland, though the bulk of their art practice blooms within the Unceded Territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) nations where they have been overwhelmed with the warmheartedness, generosity and support of the host nations and  indigiqueer community to whom they owe a well of gratitude.

Afuwa

Afuwa was born in Guyana, on Karinya and Akawaio lands. She makes art on Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish territories. Her work encompasses language, the body and diasporic memory. Current projects re-imagine relations across the Atlantic diaspora.

Artist Talk / June 12

Save the date for June 12! We’re getting ready for an artist talk to celebrate our new group exhibition opening. Join a conversation with the participating artists and our guest curator, Emily Dundas Oke, on their practice and the art that will be on view for the next few weeks.

Stay tuned for more information!

About Emily Dundas Oke

Emily Dundas Oke is an emerging curator and interdisciplinary artist. A 2018 graduate of Philosophy and Visual Art (BA) from Thompson Rivers University, she has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Ken Lepin Award of Excellence. Her philosophical research in epistemology guides her interest in works that deal with the production and retention of embodied knowledge and shared histories. She is an alumni of the TRU Indigenous Knowledge Makers program, is currently a co-organizer of the Indigenous Brilliance reading and performance series. She has held positions at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver and the Kamlops Art Gallery. Emily has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been an artist in residence at Nida Art Colony (Lithuania), Ideas Block (Lithuania) and the Kamloops Printmakers Society (Canada). She is of Cree, Métis, Scottish, and English descent and is a visitor on the unceded and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.