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Reconciliation-based artwork at Chilliwack museum features lacy web of red yarn

‘Red is the colour of passion and anger, danger and power, courage and love,’ says Métis artist
The #HopeandHealingCanada art installation by Tracey-Mae Chambers is at the Chilliwack Museum until fall 2022. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress)

The Chilliwack Museum is hosting a reconciliation-themed art installation this summer by Métis artist Tracey-Mae Chambers.

Featuring a lacy web of red yarn, the artwork can be seen in downtown Chilliwack draped over the museum balcony.

Chambers launched her #HopeandHealingCanada project last summer across the country with the goal of broaching non-confrontational discussions on decolonization and reconciliation.

“The discussion is hard to start and harder still to maintain,” Chambers said on her #hopeandhealingcanada website.

Each project is made of strong, resilient red yarn that is crocheted, knit, or woven.

“Red is the colour of blood,” Chambers wrote. “Red is the slur against Indigenous people. Red is the colour of passion and anger, danger and power, courage and love.”

The artwork can be thought of as making connections between Indigenous, Inuit, and Métis peoples with Canadians in order to help bridge the gap while also addressing the decolonization of public spaces.

“The woven web represents the complexity of issues surrounding reconciliation, with each ring symbolizing family connections and resilience,” said Kate Feltren, curator of the Chilliwack Museum.

Although some the work was designed prior to installation, the majority was fabricated on site in Chilliwack by Chambers on June 1.

“The art installation is in support of the upcoming exhibition, ‘Where are the Children? Healing the Impacts of the Residential Schools’ at the museum,” said Feltren.

‘Where are the Children’ is a travelling exhibition from the Legacy of Hope Foundation promoting awareness and education of the legacy of the Residential School system in Canada. The exhibition runs June 30 to Oct. 15.

“I have been building site specific art installations at residential school historical sites, museums, art galleries and other public spaces,” Chambers wrote. “Many but not all of these spaces serve to present a colonial viewpoint and primarily speak about the settlers who arrived and lived here, but not the Indigenous people who were displaced along the way.”

See more at about the #hopeandhealingcanada project.

#HopeAndHealingCanada will be on display at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives until October 2022.

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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