Bill Reid Gallery brings new exhibit: qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways

Opening April 10th, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver presents the new exhibit, qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways.

Rage Flowers by Lindsay Delaronde with Performance by Erynne Gilpin, Photo by KL Peruzzo

The premiere group exhibition is guest curated by four members of the ReMatriate Collective — Ts?m? Igharas (Tahltan), Tiffany Creyke (Tahltan), Angela Marie Schenstead (nêhiyaw), and Denver Lynxleg(Anishinaabe) — and features nine Indigenous artists. The exhibition also features Audrey Siegl (Musqueam) as an important contemporary Water Keeper. The show honours the important role of Indigenous women on the coast, both past and present, in a timely investigation amid ongoing debates about pipelines and Indigenous rights. qa? y?xw is a h?n?q??min??m? expression that means “water honours us.”

Tsesqel Original by Carrielynn Victor

qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways, features video, photography, carving, printmaking, beading, and performance by artists affiliated with various Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast and the interior of British Columbia. Each of the nine artists considers a unique experience with the life-giving element of water, and creates innovative works based on culturally specific practices.

“This exhibition highlights womxn’s unique relationship with water as child bearers, healers, doulas, and other roles key to Indigenous matriarchal societies of the Northwest Coast as we are womxn and waterways,” says the ReMatriate Collective. “Water connects us all through the seas, rivers, and clouds, and is not bound by human-imposed borders. Through art, performance, and interactive programming, we explore water as a crucial element for all of creation, as well as its historical uses for survival and sacred cycles. In addition, the artists look at the excess of contemporary resource consumption as a threat to sensitive environmental and coastal ecosystems.”

Reconcile This by Krystle Coughlin

The ReMatriate Collective formed in 2014, dedicating itself to strengthening future generations of Indigenous women through positive self-representation. Their work encompasses the dissemination of public visual- and text-based works and exhibitions, including social media photo campaigns and hands-on workshops on traditional practices and skill development. Their collective work has been featured at the Western Front (2016), Arts Underground in Whitehorse (2018), and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC (2018).

To find out what each of the nine artists brings to the qa? y?xw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways exhibition visit Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, 639 Hornby Street, from April 10 – October 2, 2019. Find more information. exhibition hours and more online at billreidgallery.ca 

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