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Marianne Nicolson

Awi'nagwiskasu: Real Land

Curated by Jesse Birch and Liz Park

April 21 - July 2, 2017
Join us for the opening reception, Thursday, April 20 at 7 pm

Nanaimo Art Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Marianne Nicolson, a Victoria BC based artist of Scottish and Dzawada̱'enux̱w First Nations descent. The Dzawada'enuxw People are a member tribe of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Nicolson's work first came to prominence in 1998 when she scaled a cliff face near her ancestral village Gwa'yi to paint a 11.5 meter high by 8.5 meter wide pictographic crest symbol that shows the origin story of her people. This was the first petrograph in the region in more than sixty years, and marks the continued vitality of the Dzawada'enuxw. Operating as a potent expression of land rights and community connections, this work anchors the exhibition Awi'nagwiskasu: Real Land.

This exhibition showcases Nicolson's creative scope through paintings, light-installations, and video. Many of the works invite visitors to share the artist's pressing concerns about the waters that surround and course through land, and serve as a gauge for the health of coastal communities. Rivers, inlets, harbours, and tides are points of reference throughout the exhibition. Awi'nagwiskasu: Real Land was developed in dialogue with Nanaimo, a harbour city, and hub of resource extraction and distribution on Vancouver Island. Nicolson will also create a new public artwork on the exterior of Nanaimo Art Gallery that will be revealed at the end of the exhibition.

Awi'nagwiskasu: Real Land opens with a public reception on April 20, 2017, and a public talk by the artist that will take place on April 22, 2017.

To highlight Nicolson's interrelated practices as a linguist, anthropologist, and a visual artist, a new risograph print edition that compiles titles of Nicolson's works from 1998-2016 in both English and Kwak'wala will be produced on the occasion of the exhibition.

Image: Marianne Nicolson, cliff painting in progress, Kingcome Inlet, 1998

 Broadcast Archipelago

As a part of Nanaimo Art Gallery's celebration of 40 years, we ask the question What does it mean to live on an Island? through a widely distributed contemporary art project called Broadcast Archipelago. Through radio, and other broadcasting media, we will consult multiple voices, and share them with audiences across Nanaimo and beyond.

Throughout the year, a radio transmitter will be stationed in the gallery as a second space to exhibit audio based programming and recordings. Projects will also be broadcast and distributed through local and regional independent radio stations, and globally, through a gallery podcast. As a slow, yet widely accessible medium, radio has historically encouraged communal gathering and sustained listening. It has long been an important means of communication to and from remote locations, and it remains crucial to many regional islands and communities to disseminate information and sustain culture. By opening up a new space to encounter art, Broadcast Archipelago activates alternative modes of engagement beyond the visually dominant sphere of art.
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Listen in! Sign up for our gallery e-news and follow Nanaimo Art Gallery on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on Broadcast Archipelago events. 

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