Wayfinding: Identity and the Kootenays
Thursday, June 7, 7pm-9pm
Exhibition Runs: Friday June 8 – Saturday July 7, Wednesday – Saturday 1-5pm
Participating Artists: Annika Dixon-Reusz, Danan Lake, Spencer Legebokoff, Eija Loponen-Stephenson, Lydia Miller, and Vance Wright. Honourable Mentions: Bethany Pardoe and PCSS’s ‘The Socks Project’.
In this professional, juried exhibition featuring emerging Kootenay artists, youth respond to the theme of Wayfinding: Identity and the Kootenays through textile work, photography, installation, sculpture, painting and video.
Wayfinding can be defined as the ways in which people (and animals) orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place. It is a cognitive, social and embodied process of locating self in the context of surroundings, tracing a route to and from a given place. Wayfinding: Identity and the Kootenays examines how this process of locating oneself shapes six young Kootenay artists, many of whom have left to pursue studies elsewhere but trace much of their artistic inspiration to their strong identification with the Kootenay region.
Questions the exhibition considers include: How do you locate yourself as a young Kootenay artist, geographically, politically, historically or otherwise? How does living in or originating from the Kootenay region influence your art practice? If you were to build or draw a map of your personal relationship to this region, how would that look, feel, and be read?
Danan Lake, born in Argenta, explores his relationship to home through a sculptural installation that investigates the landline, a symbol or rural isolation and community reliance. Taking up outdoor recreation, Annika Dixon-Reusz of Rossland manipulates mountain bike tires into an elaborate textile art garment, while Spencer Legebokoff of the Slocan Valley photographs rural and urban skateboarding as a means of exploring and shaping his surroundings. Ymir’s Eija Loponen-Stephenson’s two delicate rice paper dresses speak to the duality of a rural and urban identity, while Nelson-based indigenous artist Vance Wright’s embroideries take up mapping as a way of engaging with queer politics and decolonization. Finally, Kootenay-based Lydia Miller explores her connection to the region and nature at large through delicate sculptural works made with local, found materials.
Honourable mentions include Nelson-based highschool student Bathany Pardoe, who’s adept paintings take up regional subject matter, and The Socks Project, a group project exploring wayfinding by a senior art class at Creston’s Prince Charles Secondary Secondary School.
Oxygen Art Centre
#3A – 320 Vernon Street (back alley entrance) in Nelson, BC