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میں اپنی ماں کی بیٹی ہوں | I am my mother’s daughter

Curated by: Haema Sivanesan and Jenelle M. Pasiechnik
September 1st to November 19th, 2022

میں اپنی ماں کی بیٹی ہوں | I am my mother’s daughter is a solo exhibition by artist Farheen HaQ featuring video and sculptural installation that celebrates the resilience and knowledge systems of HaQ’s mother as she settled in the Niagara region, Haudenosaunee territory, in the 1970s. The exhibition weaves together intergenerational relationships, connecting the experience of the artist’s mother who arrived in Canada to meet her partner in an arranged marriage with HaQ’s experience as a child of that union. Subsequently, its impact on HaQ’s own experience as a mother, as well as her relationship with her own daughter. This work of inner housekeeping includes: personal journeys through a family’s past as a way of moving forward, and political reconciliations determined by the territories on which she and her family arrived as guests. HaQ will be combining new and existing work in an exhibition that explores how she carries the past, and how she determines its legacy into the future.

Bricks on the floor encasing a TV that is showing a film by Farheen HaQ
A view of the exhibition میں اپنی ماں کی بیٹی ہوں | I am my mother’s daughter
Photograph with text that reads "what is your mother's maiden name?"
Farheen HaQ artist statement with photographs on a maroon wall
A photo of a ear with the writing "what is your mother tongue?"
A projection of Farheen HaQ's work on a maroon wall
white dresser displaying a piece of art
A wooden table on it's side in the middle of the gallery
Projection of a slide that says "becoming a bride is just a disguise"
A set of three portraits of a woman's face that read "they're there now"
Parchment that reads "what voices do you hear in the exhibition."
A screen capture of a film that says "the wealth of tears is no surprise"
A photo of a person covered in white cloth in a white frame
A view of the gallery during the show "I am my mother's daughter"

The Artist

Farheen HaQ is a South Asian Muslim Canadian artist who has been living on unceded Lekwungen territory (Victoria, BC) for 20 years.  She was born and raised on Haudenosanee territory (Niagara region, Ontario) amongst a tight-knit Muslim community. Her multidisciplinary practice which often employs video, installation and performance is informed by interiority, relationality, family work, embodiment, ritual and spiritual practice. Farheen’s current work focuses on understanding her family history on Canadian territories, caregiving and the body as a continuum of culture and time.

Farheen HaQ – still from Hamara Badhan performance

She has exhibited her work in galleries and festivals throughout Canada and internationally including New York, Paris, Buenos Aires, Lahore, Hungary, and Romania. Recent exhibitions include Sentirse en Casa at Casa Cultura Gallery, Medellin Colombia (2018), Being Home at the Comox Valley Art Gallery (2015), Fashionality at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (2012), Collected Resonance at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (2011),  The Emperor’s New Clothes at the Talwar Gallery, New York (2009), and Pulse Contemporary Art Fair, Miami (2008). Farheen received her BA in International Development (1998) from the University of Toronto, her BEd (2000) from the University of Ottawa and her MFA in Visual Arts (2005) from York University. In 2014, Farheen was nominated for Canada’s pre-eminent Sobey Art Award.


Distant Relatives

Four Satellite Campus programs were first delivered in 2021, consisting of barrier-free workshops developed and delivered by professional, Indigenous artists hailing from traditional territories around Northern Vancouver Island and the nearby Discovery Islands. Incorporating principles of reconciliation and decolonization, the CRAG acted only as a structure of support, empowering the artists and community leaders to determine the parameters of their program and the exploration of participants’ own contemporary, cultural expressions. Each Satellite Campus program forged important partnerships with remote Indigenous communities leading towards sustained relationships. 

Central to the Satellite Campus program is the concept of self-determination for remote Indigenous communities. The nature of each public outreach program is informed by the specific needs of its community, as established by professional artists and leaders from within those communities. Principles of reconciliation and accessibility are built in, creating barrier free opportunities for participants to engage in meaningful, self directed art-making.

Exhibiting the “artefacts” from these community workshops not only elevates the work produced, but initiates an important dialogue with the greater Campbell River community on the interests, values, concerns, and artistic excellence coming from these regions. Exhibiting in our Satellite Gallery activates this very public space, and exposes the work to countless visitors and tourists. 

Programs

A̱MŁA IN TSAX̱IS and A̱MŁA IN YA̱LIS: North Island public art project, Artist Facilitators : Skeena Reece (Metis/Cree and Tsimshian/Gitksan) and Corrine Hunt (Kwakwaka’wakw/Tlingit) 

A̱mła in Kwak’wala means “let’s play.” Professional artists Corrine Hunt and Skeena Reece led participants to explore the evolution of traditional Northwest Coast Indigenous art and language, finding ways to bring it into our modern world.

Workshops held over multiple days, in both Fort Rupert and Alert Bay, allowed participants to develop a deeper understanding of how traditional artforms have changed through time. They shared language (Kwak’wala), knowledge, songs, and experiences to inform the artwork. 
The final result were two separate public murals reflecting contemporary stories and Indigenous identities: a painted driftwood installation outside U’mista Cultural Centre, and spray painted stencils of hands around the village of Tsax̱is.

Skeena Reece & Corrine Hunt, Mural Outside U’mista Cultural Centre, 2021, painted driftwood installation. Image credit: Sarmad AlMouallem

Honouring our Gəngənanəm, Artist Facilitator: Avis O’Brien (Haida and Kwakwaka’wakw )

This workshop offered Liǧwiłdax̌w youth in Cape Mudge an opportunity to explore utilising their breath, bodies, and weaving as forms of healing during this time of grief and loss. 

The group cultivated wellness by weaving around a residential school desk, surrounding the darkness embedded in the desk with cedar, their most powerful healing medicine. Each strand of cedar represents the lives of Gəngənanəm (children) lost, and the strength, resilience & wisdom this generation of youth carries to heal from the attempted and ongoing colonial genocide forced upon their people.

Verna Wallace, Elder and Residential School survivor attended the workshop and shared her personal story of attending St. Michael’s. The accompanying documentary shares the experience participants went through.

Avis O’Brien, Honouring our Gəngənanəm, 2021, Residential school desk woven with cedar. Image credit: Kaira Fenix
Honouring our Gəngənanəm Documentary – this shares the experience participants went through. The film may be triggering and emotional for some viewers.

all my tiičma, Artist Facilitator: Sonny Assu (Ligwilda’xw Kwakwaka’wakw)

This public art project was directed at individuals experiencing homelessness in Campbell River, in response to the stigma and isolation this community regularly faces. With many sleeping in our doorways overnight, the project reaches out in an intentional way, providing access to meaningful contemporary art.

Through a mentorship between established professional artist Sonny Assu and emerging artists, Paul Vincent John (ʔiiḥatisatḥ činax̣int / Ehattesaht-Chinehkints First Nation) and Charles Jules (Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nation) a design was conceived, drawn, and vectored for installation in the doorways of the building, creating a welcoming space for community members to spend time, feel loved, empowered, and uplifted. 

The final result is a memorial that honours a loved one lost. Artwork created by her peers, for her peers.

Sonny Assu, Paul Vincent John, Charles Jules, all my tiičma, 2021, digital rendering. Image credit: Sonny Assu

Self-Location Workshop, Artist Facilitator: Hjalmer Wenstob (Nuu-chah-nulth) 

Tla-o-qui-aht artist Hjalmer Wenstob first introduced an Experiential Panel Discussion on Cultural Appropriation as part of the Carving on the Edge Festival in Ucluelet, BC. The deeply introspective self-location writing exercises were a way of laying the groundwork to support the important, albeit uncomfortable, conversations around cultural appropriation. 

The Self-Location Workshop continued this work, allowing participants to transform their self-awareness into art, creating sketches, drawings, and a series of lino-cut prints. Students also learned more about Indigenous studio arts and the impacts of cultural appropriation, with a specific focus on Nuu-chah-nulth and Pacific Northwest Coast art practices. 

Self-Location Workshop at Carving on the Edge Festival. Image credit: Hjalmer Wenstob

The Chorus is Speaking


Experiencing Identities of Blackness in Canada

Ojo Agi, Syrus Marcus Ware, Charles Campbell, Jan Wade, Chantal Gibson, Karin Jones, Dana Inkster, Christina Battle

Curated by: Michelle Jacques & Jenelle M. Pasiechnik

June 11 to August 20, 2022

Ojo Agi – Christina Battle – Charles Campbell – Chantal Gibson – Dana Inkster – Karin Jones – Jan Wade – Syrus Marcus Ware; 8 artists of incredible insight and inventiveness brought together in an exploration of facets of the Black experience on Turtle Island through sculpture, drawing and painting, installation, film, and poetry.

The varied perspectives in the exhibition speak to activist positions, seeking a balance between carrying the weight of difficult histories and finding joy, the beauty of Blackness, cultivating boundaries through a resistance to the gaze, thinking through the creative process with curiosity, love of experimentation, and the pursuit of knowledge. This exhibition is an opening, a start to a necessary conversation and a welcoming for new dialogues and voices to be heard on Ligwiłda’xw territory. The exhibition is created in service of the Black community of Campbell River and North Vancouver Island. At the same time, we acknowledge the complexities of speaking to experiences and perspectives that come from five hundred years of complicated history on this land. 

The title The Chorus is Speaking refers to a group of artists in dialogue about their experiences, the state of culture in Canada, and often untold (his)stories. In classical Greek theatre the chorus was a source of wisdom that would provide commentary on actions and events, thus creating a deeper and more meaningful connection between the characters, the audience, the story, and moral sentiment. This group functions in a similar way, by offering an overarching perspective filled with wisdom and insight. They have a wealth of experience as educators, artists, advocates, activists, and scholars thinking through their own lives and creative processes, offering us the opportunity to learn from and witness that knowledge. 

Image of exhibition "The Chorus is Speaking"

The Artists

Ojo Agi is an award-winning Nigerian-Canadian artist and researcher based in Montreal, QC. Her work uses brown paper and portraitures to make visible an experience that is increasingly common yet largely underrepresented.

Christina Battle is an artist based in Edmonton, Alberta. Her practice focuses on thinking deeply about the concept of disaster: its complexity, and the intricacies that are entwined within it. 

Charles Campbell  is an internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artist, writer, curator and educator. Born in Jamaica, is based in Victoria, BC. His artworks, which include sculptures, paintings, sonic installations and performances, explore aspects of Black history, especially as experienced in the Caribbean region. 

Dana Inkster is an artist of African descent and was born and raised in Ottawa, currently located in Lethbridge, AB. Dana’s work often experiments with narrative while exploring the complexities of identify, which stem in part, from her experiences as a black, queer, feminist. 

Chantal Gibson is an award-winning writer-artist-educator living on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, Vancouver, BC. Working in the overlap between literary and visual art, her work confronts colonialism head on, imagining the BIPOC voices silenced in the spaces and omissions left by cultural and institutional erasure. 

Karin Jones is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in jewelry, who lives and works in Vancouver, BC. Her most recent work deals with the ways historical narratives shape our sense of identity. 

Jan Wade is a Hamilton-born, Vancouver-based artist whose practice includes mixed-media assemblages, paintings, textiles, text works, and icon-like sculptural objects. Wade has developed a highly distinctive style and iconography, shaped by her personal experience as an African Canadian of mixed cultural heritage and her commitment to ideas of social and spiritual transformation.

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator, and educator. He lives and works in Toronto, Ont. Syrus’ works with and explores social justice frameworks and Black activist culture.



Ask the Mountains 

Jenni Schine & Sylvie Ringer with Giorgio Magnanensi

Curated by: Jenelle M. Pasiechnik

March 19 to May 21, 2022

Ask The Mountains is a multi-sensory, immersive installation featuring drawings, paintings, and soundscape compositions referencing the atmosphere and landscape of North Vancouver Island and Malcolm Island; places dear to the artists and many who call the Island their home. During Ask the Mountains, the artists return to Malcolm Island psychologically and emotionally, but not necessarily physically due to the way the pandemic has changed travel. And yet, the artists continue to carry the gifts of Malcolm Island within their separate lives as a way to help move through and seek shelter during difficult times.

A clip from a soundscape by Jenni Schine.

Through being present and remembering, asking the mountains, and exploring what it is to be a mountain, the artists begin a conversation with the natural world and bring it into the gallery to share with visitors. How do the layers of information that are stored in rocks, sediments, and earth find their way into artists’ work, and our lives? 

How does connection with the natural world help us listen to our environments, to each other, and within ourselves? What does this sound like? What does it look like? Feel like in our bodies?

The exhibition allows viewers to experience the voice of Malcolm Island. Pure sounds gathered into an abstract composition by Jenni, elegantly strung together to recreate a sense of the place. The sounds will resonate through Giorgio Magnanensi’s West Coast Radians – wooden speakers made of cedar and maple.

“The installation acts as a character, itself and so do the wooden-speakers,” Jenni says. “The sonic work is not a composition in the way of a classical composition, rather it works with sound materials and their specific sonic qualities.”

A clip from a soundscape by Jenni Schine
Ask the Mountains information wall and a wooden resonator
Art by Sylvie Ringer on a moss-green wall in the Ask the Mountains exhibition
Wooden speakers on shelves on a wall and art on the floor framed with wood
Artworks by Sylvie Ringer in a collage display on a wall
Art from Ask the Mountains presented collage style on a wall
A small room with black walls and small paintings on wooden shelves in Ask the Mountains

 NOOJIM OWIN

THE GIFT OF THE HEALING DANCE

When we dance, we dance for the people

February 18 to March 26, 2022

The CRAG Team is thrilled to welcome JoAnn Restoule and the Women’s Circle Dancers’ presentation of their healing project Noojim Owin into the Satellite Gallery. The project has come to the gallery as a welcome surprise and opportunity to support Restoule and the other dancers in sharing their message of hope and healing.

“The vision of the Healing dance was gifted to the Anishnabe at a time in our history when a great sickness came upon the people of Turtle Island. As we had been instructed in our origin stories, our people called upon the strength of the gift of dreaming or visioning. It is said that at this time a great gift was brought to the people in the form of a vision. In the vision 4 women wore dresses in the colours of red, yellow, blue, and green. These dresses were covered in shiny metal cones, and we were instructed to bring this vision and dance to the people…to bring healing energy.  Our people followed these instructions and with the support of the Ancestors…there was a great healing that came to the nation.”

“We are now witnessing a time in our history as a people where there is great need for the healing energy of the ceremonies and rituals of all nations. For the Anishnabe, we have been given instructions to bring the teachings to the people, to walk the good life teachings on the good Path…Mino Biimadiziwin…when we dance we are told that we are “Dancing for the People”

“The Gift of the Healing Dance Project began in 2019, when a group of committed relatives took on the responsibility of deepening their awareness and understanding of the teachings of the Healing Dance and the gift of the healing energy that has come through from the ancestors.”

“Through the good work of these relatives, we can bring the teachings into our community to share the energy of traditional indigenous knowledge, ceremony, and practice. We have been told by our Ancestors that we are to awaken, stand up and be counted, for we are being recognized in the Spirit World. For this, we are eternally grateful.”

“Chi Migwetch…”

-JoAnn Restoule, Cultural Presenter

The Jingle Dance Healing Dance is a Community Cultural Revitalization Project. When we dance, we dance for the people who have come before us, the people yet to come and for the people who need healing. 

Shiibaashka ‘Igan: The Jingle Dress is a gift and a sacred responsibility. When we wear the dress and dance, we are reminded to open our hearts and our minds to all of creation.

IKWE NOOJIM OWIN NIIMI IDIWIN – Women’s Circle Dancers

Kim McWilliam: Yellow Dress Ukranian, Scottish English, grew up in the traditional territories of the Katzie and Kwantlen – Surrey

JoAnn Restoule: Burgundy Red Dress Father’s side Anishnabe Dokis Bay Ontario Mothers side Anishnabe, French (grandfather 5th great) – Dokis Bay Ontario

Jaqueline Morgan: Blue Dress, Father’s side Black Irish, Mother’s side, Cree/Anishnabe – Cote Kamsack Saskatchewan and Tootinaowaziibeeng in Manitoba

Gwen Monnet: Burgundy Red Dress, Father’s side Metis-Chipewyan Scottish, Mother’s side Welsh

Holly Douglas: Green Dress, Father’s side Coast Salish-Xwchiyo:m and Pil’alt on her Mother’s side Scottish

Maybel McDonald: Purple Dress, Mother’s side Cree, Metis and French Irish on Father’s side from Edith and Walter Currie from Fredericton, New Brunswick

Brooke -Lin Jestico: Red Dress, Father’s side Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuuchanulth, North Vancouver Island Salish, Mother’s side English and Portuguese

Danielle Chartand: Blue Dress Father’s side English and Irish, Mother’s side Metis and Anishnabe – Skownan, Manitoba

Serena Rotter: Yellow Dress  Father’s side German  Mothers side French Canadian and English

Jeannie McDonald: Green Dress, Mother’s side Cree, Metis and French Damase and Lorraine LaCerte of Willow Bunch Saskatchewan, Father’s side Norwegian and Dutch from Clarence and Emily Ness of Lake Alma, Sakatchewan

Jeannine Walker: Blue Dress Scottish and Mi’kmaq heritage on Father’s side.  Mother’s side Cree from the Cote First Nation in Kamsak, SK. Anishinaabe from the Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation in Manitoba and Black Irish

Thanks to the Comox Valley Art Gallery for hosting the original exhibition.


40th Annual Members’ Show


January 13th – February 26th, 2022

This year brings the 40th Annual Members’ Show!

The Members’ Show is a joint partnership between the CRAG and the Campbell River Arts Council and is a celebration of the many artists that are a part of the Campbell River and area community. An incredible collection of Artists, from professionals to newcomers, participate in this annual event.

Various pieces in the gallery for the 40th Annual Members's Show

photo credit : Gordon Ross

Walk With Me

November 27, 2021-February 19, 2022

Satellite Gallery

Walk With Me is a community action and research project designed to make change in relation to the toxic drug poisoning crisis. This exhibition draws attention to the people who have shared their voices, images and a glimpse of their everyday lives in Campbell River during the Fall of 2021.

“We want to be seen,
we want to be heard,
we exist,
we are human.”

We are honoured to have walked together.

Walk With Me has been developed in response to a crisis that has blindsided municipal governments and communities, large and small, across the country. The crisis has had a heavy impact in BC. Since it was labeled a provincial emergency in 2016, illicit drug toxicity deaths have totalled over 7,500. For governments, communities, front-line workers, families and people with lived and living experience, the crisis can feel insurmountable. This project, developed by research and community teams in Kamloops  and the Comox Valley, and invited into Campbell River by AVI Health and Community Services and the Community Action Team, brings together diverse stakeholders to re-frame the crisis, and imagine new ways forward.

Artist facilitator: Spencer Sheehan Kalina
Photography: Gordon Ross
Curatorial work and design: Nadine Bariteau

Walk With Me would like to pay gratitude to their funders: