Sto:lo artist Carrielynn Victor of Chilliwack will be joining other Indigenous artists for a group exhibition exploring water at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver.
The six-month-long show ‘qaʔ yəxw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways’ features the work of nine Indigenous female artists, including Victor.
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. qaʔ yəxw is a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ expression that means “water honours us.”
Victor currently lives in the community her late father came from, Cheam, and manages an environmental consultancy. In much of her art and other work, she is focused on maintaining Coast Salish design principles while utilizing modern tools and mediums. Her work revolves around protection, preservation and conservation of culture and the landscape.
She has a passion for working with traditional food and medicine plants, another craft that contributes to her art life.
Among the ways Victor is compelled to express herself are: hip-hop and blues music singing and songwriting, contemporary Coast Salish Design in various forms, traditional Salish dance, song, storytelling, and as an emcee for a variety of events.
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.
The premiere group exhibition is guest curated by four members of the ReMatriate Collective — Tsēmā Igharas (Tahltan), Tiffany Creyke (Tahltan), Angela Marie Schenstead (nêhiyaw), and Denver Lynxleg (Anishinaabe).
Formed in 2014, the ReMatriate Collective is dedicated 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.
The exhibition runs from April 10 to Oct. 2 at at the Bill Reid Gallery.