Douglas Curran: The Elephant Has Four Hearts; Nyau Masks And Ritual

Curated by Bill Jeffries

Vancouver based photographer Douglas Curran first met members of the Chewa people while working on a film in Zimbabwe in 1992. The Chewa he met were migrant workers from Malawi employed on plantations and in mines. Over a period of several years he gradually became integrated into this community in Malawi, photographing and filming their extraordinary rituals associated with a belief system known as Nyau. The Chewa rituals and their masks are part of a complex and spectacular set of beliefs that Curran has been encouraged by the Chewa to document. Curran, no longer an outsider to this culture, has created a stunning pictorial record that invites dialogue about recording the lives of others, and forces comparisons with contemporary performance art. The exhibition will consist of photographs, video and a sampling of masks.

Presentation House Gallery made a catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition. which includes text by Douglas Curran and Bill Jeffries.

Gallery Press Release
Events

Saturday January 8 at 3 pm | Artists' Talk

Saturday January 22 at 3 pm | Discussion with Douglas Curran and UBC Museum of Anthropology Director Anthony Shelton

Presentation House Gallery International Touring Exhibition

Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary, AB - June 6 - Sept 3, 2006
Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam -  May 1 - Oct 5, 2007
Origin's Center, Johannesburg, SA - Oct. 2007 - Jan. 2008

 

Douglas Curran, The Elephant Has Four Hearts exhibition publication
Douglas Curran, The Elephant Has Four Hearts exhibition publication
Douglas Curran
Douglas Curran
Poster for the exhibition "The Elephant Has Four Hearts; Nyau Masks and Ritual"
Poster for the exhibition "The Elephant Has Four Hearts; Nyau Masks and Ritual"
Elephant has four hearts, Gallery Invitation - front
Gallery Invitation - front
Elephant has four hearts, Gallery Invitation - back
Gallery Invitation - back
Elephant has four hearts, Gallery Invitation - inside
Gallery Invitation - inside
Douglas Curren, 'Chadzunda'.
Douglas Curren, 'Chadzunda'.
Douglas Curren, 'Chinkoko-Madziansatsi'.
Douglas Curren, 'Chinkoko-Madziansatsi'.
Douglas Curren, 'Mbaula'.
Douglas Curren, 'Mbaula'.
Douglas Curren, 'Chitule+Namwali'.
Douglas Curren, 'Chitule+Namwali'.

Douglas Curran: The Elephant Has Four Hearts - Nyau Masks And Rituals

Our 2005 exhibition by Vancouver based photographer Douglas Curran is a stunning pictorial record of members of the Chewa people of Zimbabwe. Curran first met members of the Chewa while working on a film in Zimbabwe in 1992. The Chewa he met were migrant workers from Malawi employed on plantations and in mines. Over a period of several years he gradually became integrated into this community in Malawi, photographing and filming their extraordinary rituals associated with a belief system known as Nyau. The Chewa rituals and their masks are part of a complex and spectacular set of beliefs that Curran has been encouraged by the Chewa to document. The exhibition was curated by Gallery Director Bill Jeffries.

Touring Exhibition: The Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary, the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam and Origin's Center, Johannesburg, SA.

Design: Catrina Longmuir
Editing:  Bill Jeffries
Printing: Hemlock Printers Ltd.

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