We asked the Tidal Volume participating artists some questions to get to know them and their work, read on to learn from Orene Askew (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) and Salia Joseph (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Snuneymuxw) about the project they are creating during this digital artist residency.
Tell us about your creative practice. What projects have you been working on recently?
OA: My creative practice is all over the map, but it has always come back to music. I’m a DJ, Teacher, Activist, Motivational Speaker, and Media/Hip Hop Artist. My piece “O Show Flow,” is being shown at The Yoko Ono Exhibit at The Vancouver Art Gallery until May 2022. I finished filming “The O Show” Documentary by Human Biography earlier this year and now the film is winning awards at flim festivals around the world. I also finished recording my first Hip-Hop Track “Status & Clarity” (Which is featured at The Yoko Ono Exhibit) and filmed the music video for the track that will be out early next year.
SJ: My creative practice is hard to define as it an underlying aspect of how I move through my passions and roles within my community. I see my Squamish commitments as how I give back and what I have to offer. Part of that is through song, through learning and carrying teachings forward. I see cultural, community and creative practice as deeply connected and non-linear.
Can you tell us a bit about what ideas, forms or mediums you’re hoping to work with during this residency?
OA: Working with Salia, we had ideas flowing already in our first Zoom meeting. Our ideas were so similar and as we were talking the announcement of the children found in Tk’emlúps (Kamloops) was around that time. We both have family who had attended residential school and thought we should try to do something with sounds and media that will give back to our community, especially the survivors and the children who didn’t make it home. I don’t want to give too much away, but using sounds in our territory is going to be big part of our project.
SJ: For this residency we are looking to create a series of offerings for our community to help heal the wounds that are ever present, and currently being re-open and exposed with the findings at residential schools. While our own community undertakes their own research at former St. Paul’s residential school we wanted to create healing pieces that could be thought of as lullabies for our past, present and future ones. We are hoping to use pieces of old interview recordings, use of Squamish songs and language as well as sounds from our territory.
What excites you most about this residency? What do you foresee as the biggest challenge?
OA: What excites me about this residency is working with Salia Joseph. She is fluent in our Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Snichim (Squamish Language), has so much to offer, and I know I’m going to learn so much from her. She also has an amazing singing voice . The biggest challenge I foresee will be timing and recording equipment. I’m glad that we have support from a great Producer, Jane Aurora, and I can’t wait to get into her studio and start recording.
SJ: I’m most excited to be able to work with Orene and get to know her better as kin and as an artist. It’s been cathartic and healing for us to plan this work and I’m excited to having something to offer our community that aims to make people feel held and cared for. I’m also really exited to push myself out of my comfort zone and take on a new type of project such as this and continue to grow my creative capacities.
Orene Askew (she/ her), aka DJ O Show, brings energy and expertise to every event she hosts and DJs. She brings professionalism and passion and remains true to her love for hip hop and R&B, incorporating beats to ensure you never want to leave the dance floor! Coming from a diverse background, O Show is driven by her passion. She is Afro-Indigenous, two spirited, and a proud member of the Squamish Nation. Feeling as though she stood out in a unique way, she has embraced both her cultural backgrounds and incorporates the teachings she has learned into everything she does. DJ O Show has experience teaching with an inspired approach. She is an inspirational speaker, having traveled across the country to bring ambition and drive to all generations, and an elected member of Squamish Nation Council.
O Show has DJ’d the red carpet for Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week and was voted the official DJ for YES in Ottawa since 2012 and the official DJ for Gathering Our Voices for five years. She has hosted/MC’d/Played at numerous events, including Bowling for Big Brother’s Classic, Babes on Babes, Hershe and working for radio stations like Vancouver’s Virgin 94.5 and Washington’s Movin’ 92.5. She is the recipient of a 2015 BC Indigenous Business Award, 2018 Stand Out Award from the Vancouver Pride Society, and a 2021 Alumni of Excellence Award from Capilano University.
Salia Joseph, St’ax̱í7alut (she/her) is Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Snuneymuxw, British and Jewish. She is a graduate of the First Nations and Indigenous studies program at UBC and cares deeply about decolonial, and intersectional approaches to learning and caring for one another. Salia is the executive director of Kwi Awt Stelmexw, a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh non profit focused on language revitalization. She is also part owner of a business called Host Consulting inc. which is a Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh consultancy focused on public art and decolonial dialogues.
Maya Hodge is a proud Lardil & Yangkaal woman raised in Mildura, Victoria. Based on the lands of the Kulin Nation (Melbourne), Maya is an emerging artist, published poet, curator and violinist whose work explores the power of healing in the arts, through uplighting First Nations creativity and Aboriginal women’s autonomy.
Maya is a president artist in this mob collective’s art studio, based at Collingwood Yards, and a founding member of Ensemble Duatala, an all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander classical ensemble. Maya has been involved in various projects and exhibitions including dis rupt, YIRRAMBOI Festival (2019); Constant Ecology, Westspace, KINGS Artist-Run (2020); Black Wattle with this mob, ArtsHouse Refuge Program (2021). Maya is currently the Assistant Curator – Exhibitions & Programs at Blak Dot Gallery.
Jarra Karalinar Steel is a multidisciplinary artist known for her Melbourne Art Tram, powerful poster art, large-scale public installations, augmented reality, digital art, emu egg engravings, and commemorative signage. Steel explores her identity, memories, pop culture, folklore from her cultural history, and lived experiences growing up in Melbourne and living on country in culture with knowledge passed down through her family.
Steel is of Boon Wurrung, Wemba Wemba, Trawlwoolway, English and Scottish descent, and is based in Melbourne’s south on Boonwurrung country. She is a passionate advocate and consultant for self-representation of Victorian First Peoples art and culture and making sure it is kept alive and thriving. Her focus in public and community art looks at ways to insert contemporary cultural visual language into the urban and digital landscape by reclaiming space and belonging through digital storytelling.
Images: Orene Askew, photo by Belle Ancell; Salia Joseph, photo by Kaili’l Smith.