Vernon’s Mariel Belanger has an outdoor courtyard installation at the Kelowna Art Gallery. (Submitted)

Vernon artist featured at Kelowna exhibit

Mariel Belanger one of three female indigenous artists

Her Body Will Remember is a contemporary art exhibition featuring the works of three female indigenous artists who explore ways of remembering and reinterpreting their ancestors’ culture and practices.

The exhibit opened at the Kelowna Art Gallery June 22 and will be on display until Sept. 8. It includes work by artists Mariel Belanger (Vernon), Tsēmā Igharas and Tiffany Shaw-Collinge. It was guest curated by Erin Sutherland.

See also: Vernon Performing Arts Centre presents Lauriel Memorial enactment

Each of the three artists were asked to consider the practice of “making” and their body’s memories of practice and technology through this process. The works make use of innovative materials and technologies to revisit the ingenuity of Indigenous arts practices, passed along through communities, families, and kin.

Visitors will encounter a variety of work in the two exhibition spaces that comprise the show. In Tāłtān Singing Machine, Igharas invites visitors into a karaoke booth where they can sing along in Tāłtān. Shaw-Collinge’s works are based on the handicrafts of her great grandmother. The mylar sculpture that is suspended in the air and black plastic 3D printed works are based on the floral (wild Alberta rose) motif pattern that her great grandmother drew and used. Belanger’s outdoor courtyard installation entitled tukʷtniɬxʷ (Moon Lodge) is a tule mat lodge, constructed using locally harvested reeds that were dried and woven together.

The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water St. in downtown Kelowna. For more information about current exhibitions, public programming or special events, please visit the Kelowna Art Gallery online at www.kelownaartgallery.com or call 250-762-2226.

Belanger is a Vernon-based artist, dedicated to contributing in the growth of interdisciplinary performance arts as a method to engage Indigenous community, language, and culture. As artist scholar, her MFA from UBC Okanagan researched identity through the lens of Sqilxw ways of knowing and being, customary law, indigenous feminism, and performance theory.

In other local entertainment: Vernon organist Jim Leonard opens Proms with first opera

Tsēmā Igharas is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Tahltan First Nation. She has a bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2011) and graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program at OCAD.

Tiffany Shaw-Collinge is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and intern architect based in Alberta. She holds a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University, a master’s in architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and is currently working at Manasc Isaac Architects.

Dr. Erin Sutherland is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, independent curator and member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective. She is of Métis and settler decent and is from Grande Prairie Alberta, currently living in Edmonton.


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