Bletcher Hour: Waking Death Collective
The Gallery’s critical reading group, named after our first librarian Hazel Bletcher, gathers for open discussion once a month. Readings explore key themes of the exhibitions and current events, with the intent to deepen our understanding of the artworks and their context within our community.
For our October Bletcher Hour we are excited to partner with the Waking Death Collective, a multidisciplinary trio of artists Annie Martin, Shanell Papp, and Mia van Leeuwen who came together with a shared interest in contemplating themes of death, impermanence, dying, and grief, expressed in their respective artistic practices. The trio have organized a two-month series of exhibitions and programming that centers the important role art has to play in supporting people’s communion with death.
As part of this program series, artists Annie Martin, Shanell Papp, and Migueltzinta Solís will lead our October Bletcher Hour. Each has selected a text that reflects on mortality, the nature of impermanence and grief, and the things that haunt us. This month’s texts include:
“Shimmer: When all you love is being trashed” by Deborah Bird Rose, from Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene
“Everything dies, including information,” by Eril Sherman, MIT Technology Review
“The Delicious Word Death” from A Walk Through the Forest of Souls: A Tarot Journey to Spiritual Awakening by Rachel Pollack
Join us and the artists in person on October 26 for an open discussion. Everyone is welcome to join and refreshments will be provided. If you are unable to attend in person, virtual options are available. Readings are sent as PDFs in advance of the event. Please contact Heather Kehoe, Program & Event Coordinator | email@example.com to sign up.
Annie Martin’s practice traverses sound installation, drawing, painting, textile, performance and video. Her work has been exhibited widely in Canada, and also internationally. Martin received her MFA from Concordia University in 1994. She lives and works in Lethbridge, Alberta, in the traditional territory of the Blackfoot confederacy, and is an Associate Professor in the Art Department at the University of Lethbridge.
Shanell Papp maintains her research-based studio practice from her home, working primarily in textiles/sculpture and frequently in photography, video, drawing, and AI. Exhibited widely and published in multiple textbooks, foreign art books, and interviewed multiple times by the CBC and in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – the work seems to have many connections. Papp holds an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan and is currently an MLIS student at the UofA. Papp lives in Lethbridge, in the traditional territory of the Blackfoot confederacy.
Migueltzinta Solís is a queer trans Chicanx/mestizXXX interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator. His creative practice revolves around immersive experience, blending elements of site-specific performance, video, installation, virtual design, painting, writing, and textile. Migueltzinta writes across multiple genres and forms, working towards a counter-institutional poetics of knowledge dissemination. Theme parks, amateur porn, Indigenous futurities, colonial imaginaries, queer materialities, and (un)belonging have been recurring interests in Migueltzinta’s practice. Migueltzinta holds an MFA in Art and a PhD in Cultural, Social and Political Thought from the University of Lethbridge/Iniskim in Treaty 7, traditional Blackfoot territory, where he is now Assistant Professor of Indigenous Art Studio.
The Waking Death Arts & Culture Event Series is a program of events that focus on death and related themes, bringing together audiences, artists, and guest speakers. The arts have an important role to play in supporting people’s communion with death and this series offers to create a space in which participating artists can share work with the Lethbridge community that reflects on our shared mortality, the nature of impermanence and grief, and the things that haunt us. Find out more about their programming at https://wakingdeath.ca/.