February 28, 2022


Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Gabi Dao, Excerpts from the Domestic Cinema Ch.1 and Ch.2 (still), 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Artists: Brittney Namaakii Bear Hat, Gabi Dao, Terrence Houle, Neko Wong-Houle, Zinnia Naqvi

“It is the work of ancestors and ancestors-to-be, to support the becoming of what they cannot imagine, but trust will arise.”Robin Wall Kimmerer, What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?

When considering family and ancestry, we place ourselves in a group, partnership, or as part of a long line. In a society that values individualism, how do we stress the importance of maintaining this interconnectedness? How can we ensure that relationships are built, rather than severed, through the accumulated separations of distance and time?

Inheritance is a common thread throughout Related. The objects, stories, skills, and traits we inherit from our ancestors range from physical appearances and second hand items to anecdotes passed down from the generations before us. The artists all look to a variety of materials including archival family photographs, cooking tools, shared activities, and memoirs to recount the ways in which they are linked to their ancestors.

Each of the artists brought together for the exhibition reveal a piece of their identity as it relates to members of their family. Through their work, they find meaningful ways to connect their familial relationships and histories, in the process discovering more about themselves and their origins. From where they’ve been to where they are going, they place these discoveries in relation to both private and public moments, looking inward as well as outward to wider cultural contexts. All five artists live within the imaginary border that delineates so-called “Canada,” each with their own distinct histories and connections to this place, which are reflected in their explorations of family and ancestry.

Libby Leshgold Gallery acknowledges its location within the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

The Libby Leshgold Gallery is grateful for the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and presenting sponsor RBC Wealth Management.

For more information about the artists, please visit our website.

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