• We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered
  • We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered
  • We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered
  • We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered

We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered

07 April
28 April, 2018

Curated by: Laurie White

We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered

Maggie Groat, Joar Nango, Leya Tess

Curated by: Laurie White

Artist Talk: Leya Tess in conversation with Laurie White, Saturday, April 7, 2:00 PM

 

We Built a House Out of the Things We Had Gathered brings together works by three artists who each utilize methods of assemblage to critically examine and participate in diverse ecologies. By conceptualizing ecology as open ended assemblages of materials and organisms, artists Maggie Groat, Joar Nango and Leya Tess consider the flows of materials in a globalised economy while paying close attention to local contexts and their interactions.

 

Exposing the raw edges of capitalist production, Joar Nango’s project European Everything reveals landscapes of accumulated waste products and the peripheral communities who scratch a living from them. A short film documents a journey through these strange environments while a collection of photographs and small objects gathered along the way examines the resourceful bricolage and sustainable knowledges of the people who respond to these harsh circumstances.

 

Maggie Groat’s sculptural assemblages transform salvaged materials from daily life into tools for connection with place and speculation for possible futures. Utilitarian artefacts, such as a set of mirrors to reflect light back to the moon, index the artist’s poetic gestures that seek to cultivate alternative ways-of-knowing while entering into relationships with more-than-human entities.

 

Meticulous drawings by Leya Tess subvert settler-colonial maps of the British Columbia coastline by repopulating the terrain with the plant and animal assemblages that define this region. Tess’s organic forms variously erase and highlight certain features of the maps in correlation with her lived experiences of these areas and the local ecosystems.

 

Together these works use appropriation and salvage as the means to strategically foreground acts of collection and arrangement, responding to contemporary environmental problems with creativity and resilience. The theme of nomadic exploration runs through this exhibition as a subtext, linking the meditative journey of European Everything to Tess’s maps and Groat’s visions of post-industrial futures. The figure of the resourceful bricoleur combines with that of the time-traveller, seeking messages from the deep past to guide her through uncertain times to come.

 

This exhibition was organized with support from the Killy Foundation and the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in collaboration with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at The University of British Columbia.

 

The Or Gallery acknowledges its presence on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories.

 

Image: Leya Tess, In the Calm, In the Surge / Somewhere Between Paradise and Desolation

Artist Bios

Curator Bios