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.
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.”
What’s coming next? See our Upcoming Exhibitions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.