Oxygen Art Centre is pleased to present “Body and Water,” a group exhibition curated by Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective featuring artists Paxsi, Jaime Black, Hannah Claus, and Lindsay Dobbin. Opening on Friday, September 3, 2021 and running until Saturday, October 2, 2021 the exhibition considers connection with waterways through video, performance, photography, and textile installations.
Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective are based in in the region of amiskwacîwâskahikan [Edmonton], Alberta. The core collective support and present Indigenous artists through collaborative contemporary art projects, as well as at their artist-run Indigenous contemporary arts centre. Previous projects include “A Parallel Excavation: Duane Linklater & Tanya Lukin Linklater” at Art Gallery of Alberta (2016) and “Current Terrain: Bruno Canadien, Brenda Draney, Jessie Ray Short, Adrian Stimson, and Alberta Rose W.” at A Space Gallery (2018). Ociciwan are currently developing an Indigenous pollinator and medicine garden research project in collaboration with Finding Flowers Project entitled, kamâmak nihtâwikihcikan (2021).
“Body and Water” is the culmination of a year-long curatorial research project exploring connections with waterways regarding colonial, physical, and embodied borders. Anishinaabe-Finish artist Jaime Black slips and shifts between elemental water waves in three photographs included in the exhibition, as well as a poem that connects waterways with the cosmos. Similarly immersed in water, Black’s photographic explorations are echoed in Kanien’kehá:ka-Acadian-Irish artist Lindsay Dawn Dobbin’s video “Transitory Fish” (2021), which features a performance in the Bay of Fundy, Wabanaki Territory that honours “our aquatic origins by following the continuity of body and water.”
In parallel, Kanienkehá:ka-English artist Hannah Claus presents a looped video entitled “all this was once covered in water” (2017) that is transfixed by the movements and transformations of water, suggesting a slippage between interior and exterior worlds. Also included in the exhibition is an installation by queer, disabled Aymara and Welsh-Irish multidisciplinary artist Paxsi that shares memories of skipping rocks through fragments of story, denim, and chain. In their narrative artist statement, Paxsi offers, “I want you to know that I miss skipping rocks together, and I miss you, too.”
Join us on Saturday, September 11 at 1:00 PM (PST) for an online artist talk to learn more about the exhibition, artists, curators, and artworks. Admission is free or by donation, everyone welcome to attend. To register, visit EventBrite or Oxygen’s website for more information.
Oxygen Art Centre is an artist-run centre located at #3-320 Vernon Street, Nelson, BC via alleyway entrance. The exhibition will be open by appointment Wednesdays to Saturdays from 1:00 – 5:00 PM. To book an appointment visit Oxygen’s website or contact email@example.com. Prior to your visit please review Oxygen’s COVID-19 prevention protocols on our website.
“Body and Water” is curated by Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective and will be on view from 3 September 2021 to 2 October 2021 at Oxygen Art Centre. The exhibition includes artworks by Paxsi, Jaime Black, Hannah Claus, and Lindsay Dobbin, who will engage in a panel discussion on 11 September 2021 at 1:00 PM (PST) via Zoom. An exhibition catalogue will be published in print and online formats.
This exhibition is generously supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.
Based in the region of amiskwacîwâskahikan [Edmonton], Alberta, Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective supports the work of Indigenous contemporary artists and designers and engages in contemporary critical dialogue, valuing artistic collaboration and fostering awareness of Indigenous contemporary art practices.
Paxsi (they/jupa) is a queer, disabled Aymara and Welsh-Irish multidisciplinary artist based in amiskwaciywâskahikan. Drawing inspiration from folk icons such as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joni Mitchell, and Violeta Parra, Paxsi’s songwriting echoes folk revival with an alternative twist. Alongside their career as an emerging singer-songwriter, they create energy-informed beadwork which embodies Indigiqueer celebration and resistance. Paxsi uses their art, music, and writing as a means of connection and self-discovery, holding space for both healing and celebration. They hope to share this tenderness and joy with others in all that they do. You can find their work and more on their Instagram, @paxsi__.
Jaime Black is a multidisciplinary artist of mixed Anishinaabe and Finnish descent who lives and works in Winnipeg. Black’s practice engages in themes of memory, identity, place and resistance and is grounded in an understanding of the body and the land as sources of cultural and spiritual knowledge. Through her art practice, Black creates space and time to connect with and enter into a relationship with the land in which she works, creating images and impressions from a space of connection.
Hannah Claus is a Kanienkehá:ka and English visual artist who explores Onkwehonwe epistemologies as living transversal relationships in her transdisciplinary practice. A 2019 Eiteljorg fellow and 2020 Prix Giverny recipient, her installations have been included in exhibitions across Canada, including Àbadakone: Continuous Fire at the National Gallery of Canada in 2018, Des horizons d’attentes at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2021, and Written on the Earth at the McIntosh Gallery in 2021. She is a board member of the Conseil des arts de Montréal and is a co-founder of daphne, a new Indigenous artist-run centre in Montreal. Claus is a member of Kenhtè:ke, next to the Bay of Quinte in Ontario. Having grown up away from her grandfather’s community, she is privileged to live and work in Kanien’kehá:ka territory, in Tiohtià:ke [Montréal].
Lindsay Dawn Dobbin is a Kanien’kehá:ka – Acadian – Irish water protector, artist, musician, storyteller, curator and educator who lives and works in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of Lnu’k (Mi’kmaq). Dobbin’s relational and place-responsive practice is a living process—following curiosity rather than form, the way of water, with the intent of understanding and kinship. As a human being with intersecting identities as well as personal and ancestral displacement and trauma, their practice honours direct experience as a way of coming to (un)know while listening for the shared beingness, health and resilience in meeting waters. Their transdisciplinary work in sound art, music, performance, sculpture, installation, social practices and writing places wonder, listening, collaboration, play and improvisation at the centre of creativity, and explores the connection between the environment and the body, engaging in a sensorial intimacy with the land and water. Dobbin aims to bring attention to the natural world as witness, teacher and collaborator in learning—making visible and audible our interdependence with the larger web of living beings and systems in which human life is embedded.
Image Credit: Transitory Fish, 2021, Lindsay Dobbin, Performance, Bay of Fundy
© 2021 Oxygen Art Centre