Press Release - Response: Our Land Narrative

For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Polygon Gallery is pleased to present Response: Our Land Narrative from April 7 to 17, 2021. This is the second of two Response presentations at The Polygon this Spring, both of which were inspired by a series of workshops led by Indigenous artists and Knowledge Keepers in the Fall of 2020. This presentation, featuring video works by eight participants, activates stories and conversations about connection, resistance, and migration, often through experimental approaches.

Participating Artists in the April presentation of Response include:

Colton Cardinal (Saddle Lake Creek Nation) is a filmmaker whose video proposes patterns found in nature are repeated in the human environment. He is a first year student in the Indigenous Digital Film Program at Capilano University. Nathan Chizen-Velasco (Canadian) is a visual artist whose work considers how land is directly and indirectly present in artworks, as the site of creation and circulation. He is currently enrolled in Cinema Studies at New York University. Lia Rosemary Skiljaadee Hart (Haida-Canadian) reflects upon progress made by water defenders around the world through an urgent call for change in defense of Canadian waterways. She is currently a teacher candidate in UBC’s Indigenous Teacher Education Program. Liam McAlduff (Secwépemc Nation) is a filmmaker whose video of a stream near his home in North Vancouver becomes a meditation on the turning of seasons and the beauty of nature. He is a first year student in the Indigenous Digital Film Program at Capilano University. Natasha Nystrom (Metis Nation of B.C.) is an emerging artist whose piece documents her embodied experience in response to her heightened sense of awareness through the process of slowing down and sitting on the land in Secwépemc Territory. Nystrom uses photography, drawing, and collage in her practice. Ash Simpson (Secwépemc Nation, Splatsín) is a filmmaker whose piece is inspired by childhood memories of their connection to the Okanagan Valley. They are a second year student in the Indigenous Digital Film Program at Capilano University. Veronica Trujillo (Mexican) reflects upon the cycle of life in her video that documents the end of a journey on the Cheakumus River. She is a visual artist who was born in Mexico City, and currently lives and works in Squamish. Sarah Danruo Wang 王丹若 (Chinese-Canadian) presents an experimental video combining film footage with maps to examine the (in)stability of land in a consideration of migration and connection across generations. She is an arts and culture worker whose recent projects focus on advocacy, curation, and gallery interpretation.

On April 8 at 6:30pm, filmmakers Jules Arita Koostachin and Doreen Manuel will lead an online talk with artists from the April presentation.

These presentations are the culmination of the Response program, a new multi-year collaboration between The Polygon Gallery and First Nations Student Services and the Indigenous Digital Filmmaking Program at Capilano University. Open to creators with an interest in visual and media arts, priority was given to Indigenous participants. Fifteen artists were selected from forty-five applications.

“Through the Response presentations, The Polygon is excited to collaborate with Capilano University, and to showcase our vibrant community of emerging artists and filmmakers whose works grew out of reflective spaces cultivated by many incredible artists and Knowledge Keepers throughout the Fall 2020 workshop program,” says Nicole Brabant, The Polygon’s Assistant Curator, Indigenous Programming.

Artists and Knowledge Keepers for the Response Program workshop series included Gregory Coyes (Métis/Cree), filmmaker and Coordinator of the Indigenous Digital Filmmaking Program at Capilano University; Bracken Hanuse Corlett (Wuikinuxv and Klahoose), media artist; Crystal Henderson (Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw), writer and storyteller; Kats Klein (Métis), mixed media artist; Ray Natraoro ses siyam (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh), carver and Hereditary Chief; Amanda Strong (Michif), award-winning filmmaker; and T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Stó:lō, Métis, Kanaka Maoli, Irish, Swiss), ethnobotanist, community gardener and interdisciplinary artist.


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Header Image: Natasha Nystrom, Secwépemc river (still), video, sound, 2020