Womxn and Waterways at Bill Reid Gallery highlights our relationship to water

Rage Flowers by Lindsay Delaronde.

Guest curators ReMatriate Collective present qaʔ yəxw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways at Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art (639 Hornby St.).

Opening April 10 and running until Oct. 2, the group show features work by nine indigenous artists. The work addresses what the guest curators call “a universal relationship to water in a politically divisive moment.” Find out more below.

According to the media release, “The show honours the important role of Indigenous women on the coast, both past and present, in a timely investigation amid ongoing debates about pipelines and Indigenous rights. qaʔ yəxw is a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ expression that means ‘water honours us.'”

According to the ReMatriate Collective, “This exhibition highlights womxn’s unique relationship with water as child bearers, healers, doulas, and other roles key to Indigenous matriarchal societies of the Northwest Coast as we are womxn and waterways. Water connects us all through the seas, rivers, and clouds, and is not bound by human-imposed borders. Through art, performance, and interactive programming, we explore water as a crucial element for all of creation, as well as its historical uses for survival and sacred cycles. In addition, the artists look at the excess of contemporary resource consumption as a threat to sensitive environmental and coastal ecosystems.”

Becoming Worthy by Marika Echachis Swan.

qaʔ yəxw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways, features video, photography, carving, printmaking, beading, and performance by artists affiliated with various Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast and the interior of British Columbia. Each of the nine artists considers a unique experience with the life-giving element of water, and creates innovative works based on culturally specific practices.

Artists include Calgary-based Richelle Bear Hat (Blackfoot/Cree), a member of Siksika Nation and Blueberry River Nation; Krystle Coughlin (Selkirk), an MFA candidate at Simon Fraser University’s School of Contemporary Arts; Lindsay Katsitsakataste Delaronde (Mohawk), a professional multi-disciplinary visual artist who is currently the Indigenous Artist in Residence for the City of Victoria; Alison Marks (Tlingit), who studied under master artists David R. Boxley and David A. Boxley in Kingston, Washington;
Dionne Paul (Nuxalk/Sechelt); Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena), from Daylu (Lower Post, BC), currently studying at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New
Mexico, and works with film — 35mm, 120mm, and large format. Her work includes portraits; Marika Echachis Swan (Nuu-chah-nulth); Carrielynn Victor (Sto:lo) from the Chi:yom (Cheam) First Nation; and Veronica Waechter (Gitxsan). Waechter recently worked one-on-one under master carver Dempsey Bob.

The exhibition will also feature Audrey Siegl (Musqueam) as an important contemporary Water Keeper.

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