• Understory  Overstory

Understory Overstory

Sandra Semchuk/James Nicholas

May 11 - July 27, 2013

This exhibition by photographer Sandra Semchuk and the late, writer/performer, James Nicholas is in collaboration with Tahlatan installation and performance artist Peter Morin as guest curator. Peter first exhibited Semchuk and Nicholas’ photographs and text while curator-in-residence for the Open Space Gallery in Victoria as part of his Travelling Exhibition series.

The media collaborations of Sandra Semchuk (Ukrainian Canadian) and James Nicholas (Rock Cree) are focused on the experiential concerns of both artists in relationship to the colonial history of Canada regarding immigrants and indigenous peoples and its effects on the psyche of the people who love the land.

The sequential work, understoryoverstory, asserts indigenous sovereignity over land and self while telling the story of Semchuk’s father, Martin Semchuk, who built a road over this land near Canoe Lake, Saskatchewan.

The video, The trapper, acknowledges the land and its history in the Prince Albert National Park while telling the story of a dream that Semchuk had of a trapper, whose invitation to come out of grieve and return to the circle of life is particularily relevant at this time with Idle No More empowering both First Nations and settler peoples to put the well being of the more-than-human first.