Our waterways and they ways in which they connect us all are at the heart of a new exhibition at Burnaby Art Gallery.
The new group exhibition, echoes, opens Thursday, Nov. 28 with a 7 p.m. reception. The exhibition will run at the gallery from Nov. 29 to Jan. 26.
The exhibition features the work of six artists: Scott Benesiinaabandan, Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour, Dayna Danger, Caroline Monnet, Nicole Preissl and Maika’i Tubbs. The artists use a wide range of mediums – including video works, digital prints and sculpture – to consider the role of water, landscape and materiality in communication.
“This exhibition contemplates ways in which recurrences traverse generational and geographical expanses. An echo is a continuation which needs a physical body on which to resound,” said guest curator Emily Dundas Oke in a press release. “We are able to speak to each other, to the past and the future, by being present in a specific place.”
In the midst of ongoing damage and violence to our streams, rivers and oceans, echoes features works that contemplate the transformative ways in which we interact with our waterways. The artists, calling on knowledge systems that don’t rely on the written word, have created pieces that are both a rumination on ancestry, memory and history and a glimpse into our shared future.
The artists come from a wide range of backgrounds.
Preissl, who was born and raised in Burnaby, is an explorative designer of both Sto:lo and Squamish descent who has begun introducing traditional artistic customs into her practice as a means of connecting to her culture. During the fall and winter of 2019/20, she’ll be leading a research and creation commission with the gallery around local plants, foods and stories embedded into place.
Benesiinaabandan is an Anishinabe intermedia artist, based in Montreal, who works primarily in photography, printmaking and video. Danger is a two-spirit/queer, Métis/Saulteaux/Polish visual artist raised in Winnipeg, whose practice includes photography, sculpture, performance and video. Monnet is a multidisciplinary Algonquin-French artist from Outaouais, Quebec, who is based in Montreal. Tubbs hails from Honolulu and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he serves as an adjunct professor at the Parsons School of Design. McNeil-Seymour is a Tk’emlúpsemc band member and fourth-generation English settler and two-spirit, an assistant professor at the Ryerson School of Social Work.
Accompanying the exhibition of their work will be a softcover art publication with contributions from the six featured artists and the guest curator, presented alongside texts by jaz, Valeen Jules, Bonnie Klohn and jaye simpson. The catalogue will be launched at the opening reception.
The Burnaby Art Gallery is at 6344 Deer Lake Ave. It’s open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., and closed Mondays and statutory holidays. Admission is by donation, with suggested donation of $5.
See www.burnabyartgallery.ca for full details.
The gallery has arranged a number of public programs in connection with the exhibition, starting in advance of the show. Among them:
Salmon and Waterways Walk: On Saturday, Nov. 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. will be the first in a series organized by artist Nicole Preissl to engage with the history, plants and waterways of the area. This walk will be hosted by John Preissl. Participants should meet in front of the gallery, bring snacks and/or lunch and dress for the weather. It’s free, and everyone’s welcome.
Opening reception: Turn out on Thursday, Nov. 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. for a free reception and a chance to learn more about the artworks. All are welcome.
Curator’s tour: On Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m., guest curator Emily Dundas Oke will lead an in-depth tour of the exhibition. It’s free, and all are welcome.
Stewardship workshop: On Saturday, Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon, artist Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour will lead a workshop for young people aged five to 16, with a parent, about reciprocity and looking after places in nature. It costs $10. Sign up at www.burnaby.ca/webreg, barcode 522331.
Rocks and Rubble – Upcycled Art Making Workshop: On Saturday, Jan. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m., artist Maika’I Tubbs leads this workshop for young people aged five to 16, with a parent. Using discarded materials found in Burnaby’s waterways, participants are led through a sculptural workshop while exploring themes of disposability and reclamation. It costs $10. Sign up at www.burnaby.ca/webreg, barcode 522332.
Panel discussion – echoes and reflections: On Sunday, Jan. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m., artists Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour, Maika’I Tubbs and Nicole Preissl will look at issues around land, language and futurity. The discussion is free, but registration is encouraged through www.burnaby.ca/webreg, barcode 519882. Note: This event happens at the Native Education College at 285 East Fifth Ave., Vancouver.