Conditional Belonging

Art Action Earwig, Taryn Goodwin, Maria-Margaretta, Sydney Frances Pickering, Neena Robertson, Tadafumi Tamura

Curated by Rebecca Wang

24 Jul to 18 Sep 2021

Access Gallery is pleased to present Conditional Belonging, a multi-media exhibition curated by Rebecca Wang, featuring local artists Art Action Earwig, Taryn Goodwin, Maria-Margaretta, Sydney Frances Pickering, Neena Robertson, and Tadafumi Tamura. Working within varied realities and cultural contexts, these artists make possible a temporary belonging for alternative ways of being, knowing, and making outside the parameters set by the dominant culture. Through a variety of mediums such as shadow puppetry performance, beadwork, video, and photography, they champion their nuanced personal/communal narratives around power relations, access, resistance, and healing.  

By recontextualizing memories, events, and fiction across time and space, and through kinship and location, Art Action Earwig and Sydney Pickering transform personal narratives into sites of collective healing. When faced with disempowering policies, Taryn Goodwin and Neena Robertson confront power-laden colonial frameworks with creative interventions to validate their presence and occupy public and institutional space. Through activating the nuances and symbolism embedded in everyday objects, Tadafumi Tamura and Maria-Margaretta communicate the intangible and relational value accrued from embodied knowledge. 

We will not be hosting an opening reception for this project, but check back for future programming and event details. Please review our Covid Safety Measures.
 

BIOS

Art Action Earwig, a multidisciplinary performance collective composed of Wryly Andherson and Minah Lee, is based in Vancouver, unceded ancestral Coast Salish territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ(TsleilWaututh) Nations. On these stolen lands, an artist who was losing her ground in the Canadian immigration system and a Canadian artist experiencing financial burdens united to make their creative livelihoods sustainable.

To demonstrate our commitment and solidarity, we collaborated on two new iterations of The Lovers Inside Boa Constrictor—an autobiographical and situational dialogue-performance originally written by Minah. This piece was staged at Vancouver’s 2018 Outsider Arts Festival and was our wedding ceremony, protest, and a celebration of love against the systemic violence of economic exploitation. Sharing their isolated realities with diverse communities through various modes of storytelling proves essential in our artwork. 

Our collaborative journey, which began in early 2018, continues under the name Art Action Earwig from 2020. Earwig’s art practices concern issues beyond national borders, exploring both challenging and inspiring matters of our time that call for actions. We celebrate our personal stories and the conversations that come out of different identities. We mobilize creative access to pressing social and political matters that engender divides in our societies. We are aware that the potentials for change are locked within the issues that cause contention—racial tensions, economic disparities, and environmental justice. With this awareness, we use our personal voices to amplify our concerns and unlock both individual and social change. To tell tangible stories, we use mundane objects, theatrical effects, social intervention or ceremony. Besides inviting adults to ponder serious local, national, and global issues through child-like eyes, Earwig has been engaging children through festival workshops, after school classes, and community education programs.

An audio excerpt from Home Squat Home (2020) was presented at the 2020 Vines Art Festival. Home Squat Home mobile app (2020) and Climate Shadow Series (2019-20) were presented as a part of Po-tent City project at the 2020 Heart of the City Festival. They actively engaged audiences for climate actions in their Shadow Sign for Bedroom Protest (2021) presented at the 2021 rEvolver Theatre Festival, and Potent City in Seoul, Korea (2021).

Taryn Goodwin (she/they) is an Neuro-Divergent, Disabled, Queer, Inter-Disciplinary, Social Practice artist, Writer and Community Organizer invested in supporting connections and conversations that re-imagine academic governance and campus communities for All Bodies. Goodwin is currently working remotely in completing her BFA in Critical and Culture Studies from ECUAD with a minor in Social Practice and Community Engagement (2022) and is invested in community-focused social commentary, experiential research, relational exercises and social interventions in making non-visible disabilities visible.

Their work aims to point out the Disembodied Pace of Intuitional Learning to provide an avenue for all post-secondary students and workers to understand their own agency and power within “The Student Body”. Shaped by using lived experiences of community activism and antidotes as a tool of long-lasting impact to change educational policy, procedures and practices to address; Who Does the University Exist For? in working to peel back the complex layers of academic governance for students, staff and faculty to use as an instrument for change, and a platform for marginalized voices to be documented, recorded, present, informed and committed to.

Taryn was nominated for the 2021 Sobey Art Award, the 2021 recipient of BC Arts Council: Early Career Development Grant, and received professional designation in the field of Deaf and Disability Arts through the Canada Council of the Arts in 2020. Exhibitions and programming include; Arts + Disability Ireland, Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto, Kickstart Disability Arts + Culture, The Pendulum Gallery, Gallery Gachet, and UBC Okanagan.

Taryn currently practices their work valuing Crip-Time and Disability as a professional and academic skill-set from their couch as an office, studio and place of rest on the unceded traditional territories of the Pentlach and K’òmoks Coast Salish People and is practicing excellent boundaries settings and is always open for virtual artist talks in community and classroom settings upon request.

Maria-Margaretta is a multidisciplinary Red River Métis artist from treaty 6 Saskatoon Saskatchewan, currently living on the stolen territory of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations. Utilizing traditional beadwork practice merged with contemporary mediums she considers how this duality serves as both  an act of reclamation and commentary on cultural hybridity. Navigating Indigeneity through the lenses of  both the settler and the settled Maria-Margaretta attempts to negotiate her sense of self through the implications of existing in a colonial system. Using Métis’ identity as a place of transformation she questions how memory, personal experience, and ancestral relations influences her understanding of self. 

Sydney Frances Pickering is a member of Lil’wat nation. She is currently living and working on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. Her multi-disciplinary practice includes hide tanning, video, sound, beadwork and poetry. She uses her practice to tell her family’s story, speak about identity and what it is like navigating as an Indigenous person within a colonial society. Her work over the past few years is grounded by her continued connection to land-based material practices.

Neena Robertson is a documentary and fine art photographer based in the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. Creating images commenting on power dynamics is a main focus in Robertson’s current work. Underlying themes in her work often comment on current socio-political issues such as the rapid displacement of the unhoused community living on the unseeded and unsurrinderd lands of the Lekwungen people. 

After completing a manual film distressing workshop in 2013, Robertson had work displayed in her first gallery setting-a precursor for the fine art direction her practice has gone in. During the years to follow, she began engaging with film photography and the darkroom more frequently. In 2016 she was given the opportunity to attend Emily Carr University of Art + Design where her practice became more serious. Robertson graduated from ECUAD with a BFA, Major in Photography, in the spring of 2021. This year she has participated in four exhibitions including two Capture photo festival exhibitions, Revisions and To Stay Related.

Tadafumi Tamura was born in Yokohama, Japan and moved to the unceded, traditional and ancestral homeland of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, which also goes by “Vancouver,” in 2013. While he was practicing photography over two decades, it was his experience of immigration and his struggles with the new environment and language that  made him re-discover it as a visual language that enabled him to be engaged with global and  local issues.

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With gratitude as guests, Access is located on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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Access additionally recognizes its location in Vancouver’s Chinatown, an area for the gathering of predominantly Cantonese-speaking Chinese labourers, settlers, and businesses since the nineteenth century. Our gallery borders the site of Hogan’s Alley, an important home to Vancouver’s Black population until their forced displacement through the construction of the Georgia viaduct fifty years ago.

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Access gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the following funders as well as our committed family of donors, members, and volunteers, for enabling this organization to remain vigorous and connected to the communities we support.

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