Main Gallery

HUMOUR AS MEDICINE

Artists: Sonny Assu, Lori Blondeau, Hjalmer Wenstob

October 7 to November 27

Humour as Medicine presents the work of contemporary Indigenous artists Sonny Assu (Ligwiłda’xw), Lori Blondeau (Cree/Salteaux/Metis), and Hjalmer Wenstob (Nuu-chah-nulth) in an exhibition that exemplifies how humour can be a powerful coping mechanism for trauma and emotional distress. Underpinning the show is the goal to explore humour as a tool for healing, activism, and open communication. 

The ability to laugh at the pain and devastation inflicted by colonial and racist attitudes has been a necessary coping mechanism in Indigenous communities the world over. The powerful impact of humour can be a cathartic release and a finely honed tool used to dispense truth. Within the exhibition, the artworks chosen are infused with humour in a range of tones and shades. By employing contemporary materials in traditional form, inverting standards of whiteness, and appropriating Indigenous stereotypes to demonstrate their absurdity and one-dimensionality, Sonny Assu, Lori Blondeau, and Hjalmer Wenstob demonstrate a breadth of approaches across their artistic output and prove the effectiveness of humour in opening difficult subjects, creating space for dialogue, and restoring power to the storyteller.  

These three artists approach traumatic histories and the perseverance of status quo policies and perspectives voicing important truths about the false friend colonial authority. The work of these artists is inextricably linked to Indigenous politics, and speaks frankly and unabashedly about personal and collective experiences with colonialism. 


What’s coming next? See our Upcoming Exhibitions.


Satellite Gallery

Our satellite gallery is an exhibition space located in the lobby of the Campbell River Art Gallery and Visitors Centre. Four large showcases are devoted to contemporary artwork.

photo credit : Gordon Ross

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 totaled 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: