Reading Group

15 June, 22 June, 29 June , 6 July, 13 July 2022
Wednesdays, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm PST

Online (Zoom, links below). No registration required. Admission is free. Everyone welcome.

The public are invited to attend any or all of the upcoming online reading group events taking place alongside the dig a hole in the garden exhibition. 

Meeting weekly for five weeks throughout the duration of the exhibition, the reading group is composed of a core group featuring Christina Battle, Chris Dufour and Alexis Hogan, Cecily Nicolson, and Megan Quigley, as well as exhibiting artists Shannon Garden-Smith and Cease Wyss.

Each week we will read from texts by Jamaica Kincaid, S F Ho, Harmony Holiday, Astrida Neimanis, and Elvia Wilk, available below.

Inspired by text-based and practice-based research for the exhibition, the reading group follows a constellation of themes considering plant collection as a material and cultural practice, with a particular focus on plant uses for pleasure, resistance, and healing. Interested participants are invited to join in on the discussion or listen in. Events will be informal in format and one-hour in length.

Following the exhibition and reading group, core contributors will share artistic responses to the themes, texts, and discussions, which will be included in a forthcoming edited collection

~schedule + links + readings~

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM PST
Zoom Link / Meeting ID: 874 4308 2538 / Passcode: 468492

Reading: Jamaica Kincaid, The Disturbances of the Garden, 2020 + Intro to My Garden (Book), Jamaica Kincaid (Google Drive)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM PST
Zoom Link / Meeting ID: 858 2215 5798 / Passcode: 874667

Reading: Elvia Wilk, “This Compost: The Erotics of Rot,” 2020

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM PST
Zoom Link / Meeting ID: 851 3503 3835 / Passcode: 721392

Reading: S F Ho, “Milk Medicine,” 2022

Wednesday, July 6, 2022 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM PST
Zoom Link / Meeting ID: 850 6766 4196 / Passcode: 245889

Reading: Harmony Holiday, “An Artist’s Guide to Herbs: Wild Lettuce”, Spectacular Herbs, 2020

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM PST
Zoom Link / Meeting ID: 843 2738 6252 / Passcode: 590710

Reading: Astrida Neimanis, So Tired, the sea (or everybody is exhausted), 2022 (Google Drive)

~ about the contributors~

Christina Battle is an artist based in amiskwacîwâskahikan, (also known as Edmonton, Alberta), within the Aspen Parkland: the transition zone where prairie and forest meet. Battle’s work focuses on thinking deeply about the concept of disaster: the complexity of disaster and the intricacies that are entwined within it. She looks to disaster as a series of intersecting processes including social, environmental, cultural, political, and economic, which are implicated not only in how disaster is caused but also in how it manifests, is responded to and overcome. Through this research, Battle looks closer to both the internet (especially social media) and plant systems for strategies to learn from, and for ways we might consider disaster anew. []

Chris Dufour (they/them) is a white queer settler having grown up and lived through many territories across Turtle Island. Raised in Kjipuktuk, Chris has spent the last four years living as an uninvited guest on Lkwungen territories.
Chris works at the intersection on ecology, queerness, and regeneration through social practice, textiles, and photo. Working on and off in community non-profits teaching youth permaculture and soil science for amateurs, Chris’ interests are in queer apocalypse skills and building inter-generational relationships. Currently, Chris and their collaborator, Alexis Hogan, are working on a new series of work in Hogan’s satellite programming space lichen.

Alexis Hogan (she/her) is a queer white settler with Indigenous heritage (Irish & Quebecois on her mom’s side and Irish and Anishinaabe from Sharbot Lake, Ontario on her dad’s). Alexis was born in Indonesia, grew up in Saudi Arabia and has lived as an uninvited guest, on T’Souke, Scia’new, Lkwungen, and W̱SÁNEĆ territories off and on for the past 23 years.  She holds a BFA in Visual Arts (2015) from Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a focus in printmaking, sculpture and critical, cultural theory.

Alexis manages a community-centred environmental education non-profit, The Compost Education Centre, which focuses on reducing barriers to accessing education around composting, waste diversion, local food security and climate resiliency skillbuilding.  She currently works through the project lichen, which seeks to model its namesake in its capacity for transformation and collaboration; it is a mobile programming and gathering space that is designed to be responsive to place-based and ecologically-centred art practices and communities.  Her practice with and through lichen is driven by collaborative partnership, and tends to focus on site-specific projects, social practice, sculpture and print media.  Alexis and her current collaborator, Chris Dufour, are currently working on a new body of work, supported by the Canada Council, which explores the intersections between political and queer ecologies through lenses of alienation, climate grief, longing, belonging and troubled futures.  The two have worked together in evolving capacities since 2019.

Cecily Nicholson is the author of four books, a past recipient of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. She has held the Ellen and Warren Tallman Writer in Residence at Simon Fraser University, and Writer in Residence at the University of Windsor. She works in gallery education, teaches at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and collaborates with community impacted by carcerality and food insecurity.

Megan K Quigley is a curator, arts administrator, and researcher based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. She is currently an MA student in the Art History department at Concordia University. Megan holds a BA in Gender Studies and English Literature from the University of Victoria and a BFA in Art History and Studio Arts (Concordia.) Her thesis research investigates curatorial practices that engage with food-based and ecologically oriented public art engagements, with a particular focus on gardens. More broadly, her research is concerned with BIPOC and queer futures, critical geographies, and curatorial hospitality. Recent writing includes texts on public bathing, decolonial walking tours, aliens, and the artist-run-centre as kitchen. She has previously held positions with Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires, Open Space, Impulse Theatre, and Oxygen Art Centre, as well as other spaces and initiatives.

This project is generously supported by the British Columbia Arts Council.

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