Braiding Past Threads to Present Place now Underway!

The Braiding Past Threads to Present Place BIPOC Artist Research Cohort has commenced its workshops in late May.

After an on-line info session, the cohort gathered in-person for the first time for a Plant & Fibre-Based Workshop led by Sharon Kallis at Trillium on May 23. The cohort had a tour at the garden and was introduced to nettle and fireweed processing by practicing on plants from past harvests at the Trillium Garden. Many of the artists made their first ropes by natural plant fibre during the workshop.

On May 30, the cohort had a Land-Based Workshop led by Squamish woman, educator, and multidisciplinary artist Meagan Innes, who is also the 2022 artist-in-residence with EartHand, and her partner Jamie Thomas, Born and raised snuneymuxw tun mystiimuxw, from the Nanaimo First Nation. Our time together started by a smudging ceremony offered by Meagan and Jamie, where everyone introduced themselves and their relation to the land that we gathered on. Then the group took turns to hold a small Squamish weaving basket brought by Meagan and Thomas and spoke about what the basket made them feel and think about. It ended by a heartfelt gift exchange between Meagan and the EartHand community. Below are a few of the many beautiful moments during the workshop.

Moving on we have seven more workshops in different themes (more info in this post) planned for the summer and many celebration and community events that offer the cohort members paid opportunities to connect with other artists and engage with the public. Cohort members have shown keen interest in participating so far and we are excited to see how the notions being explored can weave together into a future community project.

ARTIST BIOS

Lex Battle was born into a multicultural family in the small town of Prince Rupert BC. Being a part of the Nisga’a Nation, her diverse native heritage is rooted in the Village Gingolx, “The land of skulls”. While residing in Vancouver Canada as a practicing artist; her multidisciplinary work of sound production, writing, and experimental film, engages in an ongoing conversation with the natural world and spiritual practices.

Sidi Chen is a queer performance artist in diaspora whose interdisciplinary practice explores the concept of “Queer Worlding” that intersects arts, natural sciences, community development, and queer theory. Through his practice, Chen intends to mediate and negotiate an alternative relationship between the bodies that are human, ecological, and planetary. Chen obtained his BFA from the University of the Fraser Valley with the honor of distinction in 2018 and is currently studying in the Master of Fine Arts Program at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Tori Clark is a gitxsan Wet’su’wetten woman from British Columbia and spent five years of her life knowing and living with a Haida family. With them she learnt how to weave with cedar and it was one of the greatest experiences of her life! Since then she’s always had a hunger to learn more and she’s hoping that this program does just that for her. Tori watched her boyfriend’s mom use a giant loom and make a gorgeous corset for her daughter’s graduation. Honestly nothing would make Tori happier than being able to making a piece by herself!

Born shortly before the tumult of the Romanian revolution, and currently living on xwməθkwəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səlilwətaɬ lands, Ada Dragomir works across media feeling most at home somewhere between spoofed youtube videos and serious sculptural objects. By harnessing the power of absurdity and irony to point to uncomfortable political realities, her practice primarily addresses questions of productivity, value, and labour. A graduate of Emily Carr University (BFA 2020), and Langara College (2018), Ada has participated in a recent residency at Unit/Pitt and a solo show featured in the 2020 Capture Photography Festival.

Daniela Guerrero-Rodriguez is a decolonization educator, facilitator, and artist who uses a healing centered approach in designing programs and leading dialogues where unlearning journeys can take place. For over two decades she has worked locally and abroad on community building efforts in education, mental health, and the arts. These experiences and her M.Ed. in Arts for Social Change support the creation of compassionate and intersectional learning environments that combine a systemic understanding of the society we live in with creative liberation practices for building our new future.

Yasmine Haiboub is an artist and facilitator currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is an interdisciplinary artist focusing on community engagement and sculptural works. She engages with her immediate surroundings through performative gestures, interactive sculptures and mass accumulation of familiar objects that create new narratives in public and private spaces. She is mainly concerned with creating intersectionality through self-awareness, care, hospitality, and self-proclaimed authority.  She also uses storytelling as a tool for documentation of the self and artistic practice.

Kristin Man is an interdisciplinary artist and author of two publications. Born in Hong Kong, she imagines being from the planet of Venus, living in diaspora on Earth and has affinity to the seven seas. She writes in English, Chinese and Italian. Kristin holds an IB from UWC of the Atlantic in Wales, a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia University in the US. Her artistic research has led her to a deeper yoga practice via teaching which in turn influences her artwork.

Tiffany Muñoz (she/siá) is a mixed race, multidisciplinary artist and experimental filmmaker, of Filipina/x and Scottish/English-Canadian settler descent, currently based in so-called “Vancouver, BC.” She creates sculptural objects, illustrative DIY printed matter, and analogue/new media moving picture and sound. Muñoz’s practice is informed by a multi-layered visual language of absurdist, visceral, abstract narratives that explore personal, intersectional diasporic cultural identity and the esoteric.  She holds a Diploma in Fine Arts from Langara College and a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art & Design.

Xiangmei Su is a multimedia artist from China who now lives in Canada. She received her BA in Visual Art at UBC.  She works with installation, painting, photography, and video. Su has exhibited several solo and group shows in both China and Canada. Her first solo show (The Wind) was exhibited in Changshu Art Museum in China in 2012. Now, Su is an artist-in-residence in Dr. Sun Yet-Sen Classical Chinese Garden from January 28th to June 30th, 2022. Her current solo show (Intangible Thread – Part Two) is presented at the Garden. She has published two catalogues. In 2020, she was invited for a Tedx Talk, Becoming Who I Am. In 2022, she was invited to be an Exhibition Advisor for West Vancouver Community Art’s Council’s Jury for Exhibitions at the Kay Meek Art Centre.

Michelle Sound is a Cree and Métis artist, educator and mother. She is a member of Wapsewsipi/Swan River First Nation in Treaty 8 Territory, Northern Alberta and she was born and raised on the unceded and ancestral home territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She is a multidisciplinary visual artist and her art practice includes a variety of mediums including photo based work, textiles, painting and Indigenous material practices. Her artwork often explores her Cree and Métis identity from a personal experience rooted in family, place and history.

Rebecca Wang 王晨釔 is an artist and curator based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations (Vancouver, Canada) and in her hometown Hangzhou, China. Her multidisciplinary practice investigates the absurdity ingrained in the structures that uphold the everyday which is often characterized by capitalist consumer culture. Through nuanced personal, communal, and fictional narratives, she hopes to destabilize the default ways of knowing, perceiving, and existing that disconnect one from their belongings and surroundings. Rebecca holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and a BBA from Simon Fraser University.