By Robin Laurance
COLUMBIAA TALE OF TWO SHAMANS / Ga SGáagaa Sdáng / Ga SGaaga Sding
Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay, Skidegate, To Dec 28
Artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is internationally acclaimed for his “Haida Manga” style of illustration, which combines Pacifi c Northwest graphic elements with those of Asian manga. This exhibition celebrates the recent reissue of Yahgulanaas’ bookA Tale of Two Shamans, and features the artist’s illustrations along with text in the three main dialects of the Haida language as well as in English. The book is based on three different accounts of an ancient Haida story, recorded in the early 1900s.
KAREN YURKOVICH: FUNCTIONALLY EXTINCT
South Main Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 6 – 30
Drawing upon past projects with natural history museums, Vancouver artist Karen Yurkovich uses abstract imagery and disintegrating landscape forms to examine the shifting nature-culture interface. In her artist’s statement, Yurkovich tells us that “functionally extinct” refers to “a species whose population is so reduced that itno longer plays a signifi cant role in ecosystem function.” She extends this defi nition to her own creative practice of painting, which she sees as “teetering on the edge of functional extinction.”
WOVEN WORKS FROM NEAR HERE
grunt gallery, Vancouver, Sep 7 – Oct 20
Held in conjunction with the Textile Society of America Symposium in Vancouver this fall, this exhibition looks at recent innovations in the traditional weaving practices of both Indigenous artists and artists from settler cultures, “near here” being the North Pacifi c coast. Contributing artists push the possibilities of textile and woven art andat the same time confront regional histories of colonialism, cultural dislocationand newly re-emerging “conceptual, functional, aesthetic and spiritual forms.”
MADELEINE WOOD: DREAM ON
Madrona Gallery, Victoria, Sep 8 – 22
Realist painter Madeleine Wood often creates images of great intimacy, whether of the natural world or of human beings tenderly interacting with one another. In her newest work, she overlaps landscape elements such as fl owers and foliage with reclining fi gures to create dreamlike or surreal scenarios. She also juxtaposes snapshot-like images that isolate fi gurative details and tangled bedsheets, so that memory, fantasy and sensuality intertwine.
XIAOJING YAN: IN SUSPENDED SILENCE
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, Sep 14 – Nov 10
Through her immersive exhibition of sculptures, mixed-media installations and silk “paintings” executed in pine needles, Toronto-based artist Xiaojing Yan refl ects upon Taoist beliefs as expressed in Chinese myths and folklore. Curator Nan Capogna points out that Yan also draws upon “traditional Chinese art, iconography and sym-bolism” to explore aspects of the spiritual and the transformational. In Suspended Silence is Yan’s fi rst solo show on the West Coast.
CATHERINE M. STEWART: SKIN & BONES
Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Vancouver, Sep 15, 2018 – Aug 13, 2019
With a background in both science and art, Catherine Stewart uses her photographs to explore our connections to and perceptions of the natural world. She bases her most recent images on individual animal specimens in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, as well as on display cases there and animal-based accessories from the fashion collec-tions of Claus Jahnke and Ivan Sayers. Stewart encourages visitors to refl ect on “our morally complicated” relationships with the creatures with which we share our planet.
Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, Sep 22 – Dec 16
One of the Surrey Art Gallery’s four textile-themed exhibitions this fall, Connecting Threads draws artworks from its permanent collection. Working across a range of images, forms and materials, artists such as Barbara Todd, Ruth Scheuing, Nep Sidhu and Robin Ripley demonstrate the ways textiles and fi bres may articulate complex themes and diffi cult issues. Look, too, for concurrent solo shows by Maggie Orth and Kathy Slade and a group show from the Peace Arch Weavers and Spinners Guild.
BEHIND THE LINES: CONTEMPORARY SYRIAN ART
The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, Sep 27, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019
Organized and circulated by the Penticton Art Gallery in partnership with Cyrrus Gal-lery, Damascus, this exhibition of paintings, photographs, sculptures and videos gives us powerful insights into creative responses to the ongoing civil war in Syria. Twenty contemporary Syrian artists express the physical and emotional toll of the confl ict while also testifying to the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit. Complemented by photographic, video and performance works by Calgary artist Dick Averns.
FORCES OF NATURE: NORTHWEST COAST INDIGENOUS JEWELLERY
Lattimer Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 29 – Oct 13
At the gallery’s invitation, more than 15 First Nations artists have created jewellery in response to the dramatic natural environment and natural phenomena – wind, rain, earthquakes, pounding surf – that characterize the Northwest Coast. Working with hand-engraved silver, along with seashells, gems, copper and other precious metals, artists such as Shawn Edenshaw, Landon Gunn, Corrine Hunt, David Neel and Jennifer Younger evoke a powerful sense of place and its intersection with cultural identity.
Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, Sep 29 – Dec 29
Subtitled Inverted Pyramids and Roads to Nowhere, this exhibition by Brook-lyn-based artist and musician Eleanor King uses aural and visual elements to address environmental themes. Her immersive installations are often site-specifi c and include the use of Google software to create abstracted, local landscape images. At the Kamloops Art Gallery, her architectural interventions will involve shifting the position of temporary walls and “fi lling awkward nooks with salvaged materials.”