Sheldon Louis's Kinkanaqua: Hereditary Responsibilities

Okanagan artists explore the past and future

Exhibitions by Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante and Kama? Aboriginal Arts Creative Collective featured at Vernon Public Art Gallery.

Visitors to the Vernon Public Art Gallery are about to explore the history of the first peoples of this region while witnessing a futuristic light display with two new exhibitions opening next week.

The work of Vernon ceramics, fibre and installation artist Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante will be accompanied by a group exhibition by the Okanagan’s Kama? Aboriginal Arts Creative Collective.

In her exhibition, Self-Similarity, Argentinean-born and Vernon-based artist Sanchez de Bustamante will examine patterns of light and fractal phenomena to address issues connected to the interpretation of the human condition in general.

“The exhibition Self-Similarity is an expression of our basic desire for understanding of universal human experience,” said VPAG curator Lubos Culen.

Sanchez de Bustamante’s installation consists of approximately 100 anthropomorphic ceramic forms that are 24 inches high. They will be placed in close proximity to one another in the centre of the gallery space, with approximately 1,500 strands of optical fibre suspended from the ceiling directly above the conglomeration of figures, which will be illuminated by the coloured light.

The fibre optics will be in constant movement, caused by viewers walking by the installation, and the airflow from air ducts in the gallery space.

“The moving and repeating patterns of light serve as a metaphor for fractal phenomena, which repeats itself on micro, but also on macro levels,” said Sanchez de Bustamante. “Fractals that exhibit a repeat pattern displayed at every scale are referred to as self-similar. In this sense the installation as a whole expresses the binary order related to the environment and the human condition.”

In Legends, the Kama? Aboriginal Arts Creative Collective explore the history of Syilx (Okanagan) people via the artwork of its members: Sheldon Pierre Louis, Mariel Belanger, Dean Louis, Barb Marchand, Csetkwe Fortier, Janine Lott, Cori Derrickson, Pat Raphael, and Ruby Alexis.

“The Syilx know the history of the land, as oral stories passed down from one person to another, from generation to generation, as a record called captikwl (legends),” said Kama? member Louis.

In Legends, the viewer will experience the artists’ accounts of the history of the meaning of being Syilx as traditional intertwines with contemporary.

“The artists’ interpretations of the Syilx stories bring to life a world of interconnectedness between the people and the land,” said Louis.

Each artist brings his/her own original ideas and preferred medium from his/her own personal expression as a First Nations artist, he added.

“The explorations range from teachings found in tradition, oral history to contemporary connections.”

Thursday’s opening reception for both exhibitions will feature Kama? member Fortier performing hand drum songs. Appetizers and refreshments will also be served. The opening takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. and both exhibitions continue at the VPAG until Dec. 23.

For more information, visit www.vernonpublicartgallery.com.

 

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