Charlene Vickers | Speaking with Hands and Territories
Tuesday, Sep 04, 2018 - Thursday, Dec 06, 2018
SFU Gallery | 8888 University Drive, Burnaby BC
Charlene Vickers' (BFA 1994) performative gestures speak to an embodied connection to ancestral lands and the agentive capacity of materials to carry a narrative of social and cultural significance. A Vancouver-based Anishinaabe artist, Vickers' site-specific project engages her reflection on her long-term residence on Coast Salish territory and the responsibility this relation incurs.
Speaking with Hands and Territories builds on a response to the socio-political and environmental urgency around the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, drawing on a dialogue with the opposition on Burnaby Mountain. Earth from the protest site on Burnaby Mountain will be brought to the gallery (also on Burnaby Mountain) and the public is encouraged to consider their own relationship to this land - the unceded territory of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish peoples - by forming the earth into a fist-sized sphere that will become part of a hearth-like structure. Often the centre of a home, the hearth is a material and symbolic space of gathering that, in this case, forms a connection to the sacred fire at Kwekwecnewtxw (the "Watch House" at the protest site), creating room for active consideration on how we collectively make a future for Indigenous lands, waterways and peoples.