Jeremy & Sus Borsos – The Blue Cabin Exhibition

Exhibition Title: Jeremy & Sus Borsos – The Blue Cabin Exhibition

Artist: Jeremy and Sus Borsos; Curated by Glenn Alteen

Opening: June 14, 7 -9 PM

Exhibition Dates: June 15 to July 28, 2018

Jeremy and Sus Borsos – The Blue Cabin Exhibition

ARTISTS: Jeremy and Sus Borsos

CURATOR: Glenn Alteen


EXHIBITION DATES: June 15 to July 28, 2018


Wednesday, June 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Artist talk with Jeremy Borsos
Artist Jeremy Borsos will give a talk describing the restoration of the small 1920’s building known as the Blue Cabin. The talk will focus on possible translations of the cabin’s history.

Thursday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m.
Daniel Francis | Squat City: A Brief History of Squatting Around Burrard Inlet
Author and historian Daniel Francis will speak about the history of squatter villages on the region’s foreshore.

Saturday, July 7 at 2:00 p.m.
Carole Itter in conversation with Krista Lomax
Artist Carole Itter will present an informal talk about her artwork and writings during her 35 year-long residency at the Blue Cabin. She will be joined by artist and editor Krista Lomax.

Thursday, July 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, The Foreshore
Artist Jen Weih and curator and artist Vanessa Kwan will speak about The Foreshore, a project produced by Other Sights, in collaboration with Access Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery.

Thursday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m.
The Blue Cabin Project
Blue Cabin founding partners Glenn Alteen, Esther Rausenberg, and Barbara Cole will discuss the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency project.

*To keep up to date with The Blue Cabin, please sign up for a separate newsletter online here.

When Jeremy Borsos and his wife, Sus, took on the remediation of the Blue Cabin, we at grunt never expected what would eventually come out of it! Using historical materials, they took the structure apart, methodically cleaned every inch, and replaced the rotted out bits. They insulated the walls and fixed the floor. Essentially, they treated it as an archaeological site, collecting its history in scraps of newspapers and mouse nests and, in an archival process, painstakingly saved what remained. The humble structure revealed itself slowly over the six-month period of the restoration and culminated – when they took up the floor – in the discovery of almost 40 posters that had been put there in 1927 to prevent the floor from squeaking.

In this exhibition, the Borsos’ present a body of work that documents this journey, while providing us a history of the cabin before Al Neil and Carole Itter’s tenancy, and offering us new insights into the earlier inhabitants— squatters, and marine workers on the foreshore.

Jeremy Borsos attended Emily Carr School of Art and the Art Students League in New York. His practice is multidisciplinary and includes writing, photography, installation, painting, and video. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. Together with his partner, Sus, the Borsos have developed a meta-historical use of salvaged architecture, constructing multiple dwellings and ancillary structures.

Sus Borsos was born in Denmark and studied statistics and computer sciences at Copenhagen University before managing Scandinavian Stage Design, where she oversaw the creation of stages for major events in Europe. After relocating to Canada in 1992, she worked with her husband, Jeremy Borsos, on constructing their Mayne Island home created from salvaged architectural fragments. Sus has also worked in digital film editing and design, and image output for reproduction.

Together, Sus and Jeremy have constructed a number of buildings using period architectural salvage. They have most recently completed a full remediation of the Blue Cabin, the studio component of a soon to be launched floating artist residency in Vancouver, Canada. Among Jeremy and Sus’s current creative projects is the redesigning and rebuilding of a studio and living space in Athens, Greece. They live and work on Mayne Island, British Columbia, and in Athens, Greece.

The Blue Cabin project is led by grunt gallery, along with Other Sights for Artists Projects, and Creative Cultural Collaborations (C3). This program has been supported by the Hamber Foundation.

Download the PDF of the catalogue and essay by Scott Watson


Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa – Requiem for Mirrors and Tigers

Exhibition Title: Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa – Requiem for Mirrors and Tigers

Artist: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa


Exhibition Dates: February 22 – April 21, 2018

Exhibition: Closes April 21, 2o18, 5 PM

Reception & Book Launch with Susan Gibb, Curator & Frédérique Bergholtz, Director- If I Can’t Dance Amsterdam and artist, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa

ARTIST: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa

CURATOR: Susan Gibb


Requiem for Mirrors and Tigers is a series of six documented video performances by Guatemalan artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa. This series of six videos on interrelated performances and were produced for the camera.

Requiem for Mirrors and Tigers was commissioned by Corpus Network and headed by, If I Can’t Dance Amsterdam, the series features the artist working solo or with an ensemble in an ethereal series of performances. These works will be featured at grunt for Capture Photography Festival and this exhibition will allow Vancouver Audiences to see the newest work by this always enthralling artist.

Artist Biography: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa lives and works in Berlin and Guatemala City. He was born in Guatemala City in 1978 and immigrated to Vancouver in the early 1980’s. In 2006 he received a BFA in Media Arts from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and, in 2008, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was also a postgraduate researcher at Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, the Netherlands, in 2013. He has had recent solo exhibitions at CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2017); and Gasworks, London (2015). Group exhibitions include São Paulo Biennial, Venice Biennale; LACMA, Los Angeles (2017); Lyon Biennial; and EFA Project Space, New York (2015). He has participated in performance series at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2017); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016); and Tate Modern, London (2015). In recognition of his achievement, Ramírez-Figueroa was awarded the Mies van der Rohe Award (2017); and a DAAD fellowship (2015-16).

This work was commissioned and produced as part of Corpus Network for performance practice. Corpus is comprised of: Bulegoa z/b, Bilbao; CAC, Vilnius; KW, Berlin; If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam; Playground, STUK and M – Museum Leuven; and Tate Modern, London. Corpus is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Curator Susan Gibb talks with Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s website

If I Can’t Dance Amsterdam website 

PDF of the catalogue for Requiem for Mirrors and Tigers



Azadeh Emadi: Motion Within Motion

Video Still from Motion In Motion (2017)

Exhibition Title: Azadeh Emadi: Motion Within Motion

Artist: Azadeh Emadi

Opening: May 1, 2018, 7 PM

Exhibition Dates: May 2 - 12, 2018

Opening Reception:
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 7 – 9PM
Location: grunt gallery #116 350 – East 2nd Ave

Artist Talk: Azadeh Emadi
Date/Time: Thursday, May 10, 2018, 6 – 7PM
Location: grunt gallery #116 350 – East 2nd Ave

Dr Laura U. Marks & conversation with artist Azadeh Emadi:
“Creative Algorithms: From Islamic Art to Digital Media”
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 23, 20187– 9 PM
Location: SFU Harbour Centre, Rm 7000

ARTIST: Azadeh Emadi

grunt gallery, in conjunction with SFU School for Contemporary Arts and Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, presents the first Canadian exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Azadeh Emadi.

Motion Within Motion, a two-channel video installation with immersive sound, is inspired by Persian-Islamic philosophy of change. Using the theory of ‘substantial motion’ (al-harakat al-jawhariyya) by philosopher Mulla Sadrā Shirazi (1571-1641) as a starting point, Emadi employs digital video and installation technologies to challenge human-centric assumptions of change, time and motion. The work engages two distinct points of view: a non-narrative documentary filmed in Iran and an altered variation that magnifies the footage to the pixel-level. The resulting installation is both synchronized and perceptually disjointed, demanding a simultaneous reading of both cinematic time/movement and the largely abstracted constituent parts of the digital image. Zooming in and out of focus, splitting images into units and using different modalities of time and motion, Emadi’s installation reveals the inner activities of the frame – and provides experience “from a pixel’s point of view.”

Motion Within Motion will be presented in the Main Gallery and is accompanied by Floating Tiles, a related work in the Media Lab. Floating Tiles continues the artist’s exploration of time and perception via the juxtaposition of classical Islamic tilework – themselves the product of algorithmic pattern creation – and the digital manipulation of the pixel.

The exhibition corresponds with Dr Emadi’s research residency with Dr Laura U. Marks at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts until early June 2018.

Programs include an artist talk and conversation with Dr Marks on May 10th at the gallery, and a special presentation of Dr. Marks’ popular lecture “Creative Algorithms: From Islamic Art to Digital Media” on May 23rd at SFU Harbour Centre, Room 7000.


Azadeh Emadi is a video maker and media artists who experiment with alternative approaches to image making process and technologies of perception. In applying and developing aspects of classical Persian-Islamic culture and concepts, her work aims to stimulate dialogue between Western and Middle Eastern cultures. Her videos and installations explore the intersection between reality, perception, technology and time, as an investigation for finding new ways of seeing that innovatively address some of the current socio-cultural and environmental issues. She is also a lecturer and researcher at the School of Culture and Creative Arts (Film and Television Studies Department), The University of Glasgow.

Link paper- Pixelated View: Investigating the Pixel in Light of Substantial Motion by Azadeh Emadi.

Link to Press Release

Link to Catalogue PDF_ Motion in Motion_Azadeh Emadi

Pink Noise Pop Up

Exhibition Title: Pink Noise Pop Up

Artist: Instant Coffee


Exhibition Dates: March 9 – April 5, 2018

Opening (1): March 8, 2018
ONE AND J. Gallery +1
33, 11 Ja-gil, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Opening (2): March 10, 2018
Space One
95-9 Shinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

pink noise- start

“Pink noise” is a specialized frequency with a specific relationship to human biorhythms that is said to increase focus and productivity. This concept provides the aesthetic criteria and an instigator for interaction in Pink Noise Pop Up—a research project initiated by Instant Coffee that embraces colour and sound as conduits for emotional connection.

grunt gallery presents the upcoming exhibition by Instant Coffee with four Canadian artists showing in South Korea for the first time: Jeneen Frei NjootliKrista Belle StewartRon Tran and Casey Wei. Installations and performances by Korean artists will also be featured. Pink Noise Pop Up is curated by Vanessa Kwan (Curator of grunt gallery) and Inyoung Yeo (Director of Space One)

Pink Noise Pop Up will unfold simultaneously at Space One, an artist-run center, and ONE AND J. Gallery +1, a commercial space for emerging artists. Working within the context of both mainstream and alternative sites (in addition to the neighourhoods they occupy), the exhibition combines the aesthetics of consumer display with the improvisational play of social interaction.

Check back here for updates on Pink Noise Pop Up.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

Ghost Spring

Exhibition Title: Ghost Spring

Artist: Dilara Akay & Derya Akay

Opening: Friday, January 5, 2018, 7 – 9 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: Various Performances from Jan. 5 to Feb. 17, 2018


Happening # 1: Procession through cemetery, candle lighting and Turkish tea served

Happening #2: Turkish coffee fortune readings and traditional Turkish Tahini Helva served.

Happening #3: Akay family game from their great-grandmother titled, 1001 Fortunes and traditional Noah’s Pudding served.

“Our work will allow us and others to re-experience memories/emotions with late ones and create a possibility for understanding / honouring our ancestors and alive family members. We will try to create a commemoration in act and in physicality through building a shrine and creating events. We will create a place to eat, play and pray. Where we will find ways to deal with ghosts/grief of many geographies/generations dead and alive and search ways to coexist in peace and harmony.” Derya Akay, Dilara Akay

In January of 2018, grunt gallery will produce the exhibition “Ghost Spring” a two-person show by Dilara Akay and Derya Akay looking at funeral practices within their own family in Turkey, passing down information from one generation to the next. This mother and son team re-creates the rituals around death for some lives who are not considered grievable. The artists will produce an installation and a series of activations that explore ways to deal with ghosts/griefs of many geographies/generations and experience ways to coexist— focusing especially on food that is presented to, and eaten for, the dead. The works in the gallery include garlands and flowers, texts and drawings as offerings to their ancestors.


Dilara Akay

Born in (’63) Adana,Turkey lives and works in Göcek, Turkey. Graduated Bosphorus University (’85). Founder of artist platform HAYAKA ARTI (‘05) and alternative gallery project (‘09). Recent exhibitions include “Water is Life”, Santa Fe Art Institute (‘16); “Deaf and Mute”, Kuad Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (‘16); Mardin Biennial, Turkey (‘15). Akay is an ambassador for Terzo Paradiso, a project of Michelangelo Pistoletto & Cittadellarte.

Derya Akay (b, 1988, Turkey) is an artist living in Vancouver.  He received the 2016 Portfolio Prize Emerging Artist Award in Vancouver. He has an upcoming two-person project with Dilara Akay at Grunt Gallery, Vancouver in January 2018 titled Ghost Spring and solo exhibition at Unit 17, Vancouver in May 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include with bread, Campbell River Art Gallery, 2017; Pumice, Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles, California, 2017; Painting with Light, Kunstverein Toronto, 2015; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Supper, Centre A, Vancouver, 2014. Recent group shows include The Lulennial II: A Low-Hanging Fruit, Lulu, Mexico City, 2018; Nature’s Way, Cooper Cole, Toronto, 2017; Here, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, 2017; Ambivalent Pleasures, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2016. He recently completed his project Mantı, Börek, Baklava at the Burrard Marina Field House Residency program hosted by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. For this project, Akay worked with elder women with immigrant backgrounds to host a series of cooking workshops and lunches open to the public.


Curated by Glenn Alteen


Glenn Alteen essay on Ghost Spring [pdf]

Derya’s website here

Dilara’s website here

2167, An Indigenous VR Project

Exhibition Title: 2167, An Indigenous VR Project

Artist: Danis Goulet, Kent Monkman, Scott Benesiinaabandan & Postcommodity

Opening: December 21, 2017 @ 7 pm

Exhibition Dates: December 19 - 21

imagineNATIVE, in partnership with TIFF, Pinnguaq and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF), present 2167, an innovative virtual reality and immersive media project. Four Indigenous filmmakers and artists have been commissioned to create four VR works in 2017, with each artist asked to set their work 150 years in the future.

The idea for this project was born out of a love of science fiction and alternate realities. Often Indigenous people are seen as stuck in the past; the 2167 project takes a very deliberate leap forward in time and we get to see artistic visions about Indigenous place in the future. In a year that in many ways commemorates a very complex history for Indigenous people, this project celebrates the decades to come and our role in shaping a new future for Canada.

Award-winning filmmaker Danis Goulet, Indigenous Canadian artists Kent Monkman and Scott Benesiinaabandan and the interdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity bring their own vision of the future in two- to six-minute virtual reality experiences.

Three works premiered at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in June 2017, and the two remaining during imagineNATIVE in October 2017 (also at TIFF Bell Lightbox), as part of TIFF’s sesquicentennial initiative called Canada on Screen. The 2167 project in partnership with TIFF and with support of Ontario 150 and Heritage Canada will reach audiences across the country with a travelling tour until the end of 2017.


Imagining northern New Mexico 150 years in the future, where American Indian and Xicano pueblos work collaboratively to exercise communal and regional self-determination, Each Branch Determined echoes sci-fi conventions of an apocalyptic future that gradually reveal themselves to be a series of managed processes intended to restore and manage the land and its resources, as well as community ceremonies seeking to culturally and socially actuate past, present and future. 6 min.


Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective based in the Southwestern United States and comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. The collective operates through a shared Indigenous lens that engages the assaultive manifestations of the global market. Through Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination, Postcommodity braces against the ever-increasing velocities and complex forms of violence that have colonized the 21st century.


Bringing to life a prophetic Anishinabe legend about a young boy who travels through a wormhole back to his people’s place of origin, Blueberry Pie Under the Martian Sky also addresses concerns about the revitalization, growth and evolution of the Anishinabe language. 5 min.


Scott Benesiinaabandan is an Anishinabe intermedia artist that works primarily in photography, video, audio and printmaking. He has completed international residencies at Parramatta Artist Studios in Australia, Context Gallery in Derry, North of Ireland, and University Lethbridge/Royal Institute of Technology iAIR residency, along with international collaborative projects in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. Scott is currently based in Montreal.


The Hunt imagines a postwar North America in 2167 that lies in ruin, where the law is enforced by a fleet of automated orbs that patrol the skies. When an orb interferes with a man and his son on a goose hunt on sovereign Mohawk territory, it forces an altercation. 6 min.

Danis Goulet.jpeg

Danis Goulet is an award-winning filmmaker whose short films have screened at festivals around the world, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, Aspen Shortsfest, imagineNATIVE and Berlin International Film Festival. In 2013, her film Barefoot was recognized with a Special Mention from the Berlin International Film Festival Generation 14plus international jury and her film Wakening screened before the Opening Night Gala at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. She is an alumnus of the National Screen Institute’s Drama Prize Program and TIFF Talent Lab.


Honour Dance is a virtual reality experience based on a 2008 five-channel video installation by Kent Monkman, Dance to the Berdashe. Set in a verdant meadow at magic hour, Honour Dance offers a contemporary re-interpretation of a traditional Indigenous ritual featuring the “Berdashe”, a gender-bending figure whose behaviour and very existence astonished and appalled European explorers of North America.

Virile Dandies from the four directions invigorate the Berdashe with the vitality of their honour dance. Through this reciprocal and performative rite, the Dandies and Berdashe renew each other’s spirits, thereby refuting their obfuscation by colonial forces and Primitivism’s reductive pillaging of Indigenous cultures. 5 min.


Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who is well known for his provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes. Themes of colonization, sexuality, loss and resilience – the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experience – are explored in a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance and installation.

Please visit the 2167 page for information about the projects on tour.





You won’t solve the problem with an air freshener

Exhibition Title: You won’t solve the problem with an air freshener

Artist: Dominique Pétrin

Opening: October 26, 7:00 - 10:00 PM

Exhibition Dates: October 27 - December 9, 2017

Image: You won’t solve the problem with an air freshener (installation view), silkscreened paper installation. Photo by Dennis Ha.

Artist Talk: October 31, 6 PM
Rennie Hall (B2160)
Emily Carr University
520 E. 1st Avenue, Vancouver

grunt gallery will host an exhibition with Montréal-based artist Dominique Pétrin – the artists’ first solo exhibition in Vancouver. Rooted in her practice as a printmaker, Pétrin creates immersive, highly graphic environments, often producing hundreds of individual prints for a single installation. For her exhibition at grunt gallery, the artist will be working to create a unique installation that acknowledges the architecture of the gallery space.

You won’t solve the problem with an air freshener will be created on-site and composed of silkscreened paper pasted to the gallery walls. Freely inspired by the history of ornamentation and pixelated digital aesthetics, Pétrin’s installations are often riotous in execution, creating an environment both vibrant and unsettling.

Embedded in Pétrin’s maximal (as opposed to minimal) practice is a graphic insistence of the time and labour involved in the creation of her room-encompassing collages. Belying digital technologies capable of spawning image after image ad infinitum, Pétrin’s reproductions are executed, cut and collaged by hand. The artist’s recent exploration of quilting forms (in her exhibition Get rid of the fabric softener at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran) establishes a more direct connection to the issue of gendered labour and the creation of a common “we” in the execution of communally determined, intergenerational aesthetic forms. Referencing textile-inspired graphics as a starting point, You won’t solve the problem with an air freshener, considers the root of shared identity via pattern reproduction, an emphatic counterpoint to the coolness invoked by endlessly (and one often assumes carelessly) proliferated digital imagery.

Pétrin will be delivering an artist talk, presented in partnership with the Audain Faculty of Art’s Visual Art Forums at Emily Carr University, on October 31, at 6 PM.

Curated by Vanessa Kwan.

Dominique Pétrin is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Montréal, Canada. A former member of the petrochemical rock band Les Georges Leningrad from 2000-2007, she has collaborated with artists such as Banksy, Sophie Calle, the Pil & Galia Kollectiv and choreographers Antonija Livingstone, Stephen Thompson and Jennifer Lacey. Her work has been exhibited across Canada, France, the United States, Belgium and the United Kingdom. In 2014 she was longlisted for the Sobey Award. She is represented in Canada by Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran.


Download PDF: Obliterations, a curatorial essay by Vanessa Kwan. November 2017.

Watch a portion of curator Vanessa Kwan’s interview with Dominique Pétrin.


Watch a time-lapse of the installation of You won’t solve the problem with an air freshener.  Video by Rosaline Libertad

Technical Problem

Exhibition Title: Technical Problem

Artist: Aileen Bahmanipour

Opening: September 7, 7:00 - 10:00 PM

Exhibition Dates: September 8 – October 14, 2017

Headshot Aileen Bahmanipour

ARTIST TALK: Saturday, September 9, 2:00 PM

Technical Problem is an exhibition of mixed media drawings by Vancouver-based, Iranian-born artist Aileen Bahmanipour that explores cyclical political power and cultural identity.

Bahmanipour’s work draws from Iran’s mythic history such as the story of King Zahak contained in the national epic poem Shahnameh written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c. 977 and 1010 CE. Zahak was cursed by the kiss of the devil with two snakes that grew out of his shoulders. According to the legend, he began beheading the youth of Iran to feed their brains to his snakes. Fearful of being bitten by the snakes, Zahak sacrificed the future intellectual life of an entire nation.

The works in the exhibition reference Persian miniature painting, creating an allegorical language that shifts between the political reality of Bahmanipour’s home country, narrative construction, and personal symbolism. She elicits the contradictions between Iran’s mythic past and relationship to modernity as a utopic ideal in contrast with the state’s ongoing repressive control of its people. Medical illustrations and cross sections of limbs combined with animal and abstract forms mimic the border between the interior and exterior, and dissect the past as a reflection of the present. Bahmanipour’s work is both fantastical and meticulous, expressing a process of transformation unfolding and in tension.

Aileen Bahmanipour received her BFA in Painting at the Tehran University of Art and is currently completing an MFA at the University of British Columbia. Bahmanipour’s interdisciplinary practice spans from installation to painting and video based works, examining hybrid dialogues between Western and Eastern perspectives in search of deconstructing cultural truisms. Bahmanipour has exhibited her work in Canada with the Banff Centre for the Arts, Gallery 1515, Hatch Art Gallery, and Two Rivers Gallery. Her work was included in the 12th Belgrade International Biennial of Illustration in Serbia (2013), and the 4th Painting Biennial of Damonfar, Iran (2012). She is a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Scholarship, 2017.


Download PDF: Technical Problem Catalogue_Sep_2017

Download Essay by Jaleh Mansoor: Essay by Jaleh Mansoor: Technical Problem

Download Interview with Aileen Bahmanipour by Gizem Sözen and Sara Kermanian

FB Event:
Image: Aileen Bahmanipour, Sucking My Tears (detail), 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

UNGALAQ (When Stakes Come Loose)

Exhibition Title: UNGALAQ (When Stakes Come Loose)

Artist: Maureen Gruben

Opening: June 8, 2017, 7:00 - 10:00 PM

Exhibition Dates: June 9 - July 29, 2017

Guest curated by Kyra Kordoski Tania Willard

“Ungalaq” is an Inuvialuktun word for the west wind. When the west wind comes up, tides rise and as the earth softens, things that are staked to the ground pull lose. Suddenly untethered, dogs run free and smoke houses drift up the beach. It is a period of unpredictability and, ultimately, of re-formation.

Drawing from five bodies of work, this solo exhibition will be the most extensive mounting of Gruben’s work to date. Currently a Victoria based artist, Gruben has developed a strong aesthetic and practice of working with materials linked to her home in the Inuvialuit hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk in the North West Territories and to the Coast Salish territories of Vancouver Island. Her aesthetic practice can be seen as rippling outward from the land itself. She delves deeply into broad issues like climate change in a way that is both eloquent and pared down, pushing viewers to extend their own process of thought and interpretation, and allowing them to feel their way through each gesture of weaving, tufting, encasing, and assembling in her material process. As an Inuvialuit artist her exploration of Indigenous materials variously includes polar bear fur, seal skin and whale intestines in combination with anodized aluminum, pvc, wool and other materials associated with industry. These substances do not function in binary structure of opposing traditional and industrial materiality. Rather, Gruben’s material sense reverberates throughout her choices, conceptually linking her experiences of home to ways in which materials are reused, re-appropriated and reimagined.

This exhibition, Ungalaq, includes recently commissioned work, Stitching My Landscape made in Tuktoyaktuk (NWT). Stitching My Landscape is a part of LandMarks2017/Repères2017 (, created by PIA, presented by TD – A Canada 150 Signature Project.

Download the exhibition catalogue with texts by Kyra Kordoski and Tania Willard HERE.

Maureen Gruben was born in Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. She studied at Kelowna Okanagan College of Fine Arts (Diploma in Fine Arts, 1990), the Enʼowkin Centre in Penticton (Diploma in Fine Arts and Creative Writing, 2000 and Certificate in Indigenous Political Development & Leadership, 2001), and University of Victoria (BFA, 2012). She has been recognized by Kelownaʼs En’owkin Centre with both their Eliza Jane Maracle Award (1998/99) and their Overall Achievement Award (1999/2000). In 2011 she was awarded the Elizabeth Valentine Prangnell Scholarship Award from the University of Victoria. Gruben has most recently exhibited in the group show Blink at University of Victoria (2012) and Custom Made at Kamloops Art Gallery (2015).

Born in Whitehorse, YK, Kyra Kordoski is now based in Victoria, BC. For the past year she has been working with Maureen Gruben as an artist assistant and writer, and has had the great privilege of spending time at Maureen’s home in Tuktoyuktuk as a guest on multiple visits. Prior to this she completed an MA in Cultural Studies at Leeds University with a dissertation on visual strategies of social resistance, and an MFA in Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. While in London she organized and participated in Art Writing events at Whitechapel Gallery, X Marks the Bokship, and Goldsmiths University. Her writing has been published in various arts publications, including C Magazine, White Fungus, BOMB and Art Handler Magazine. She is currently also working to document artworks created as a part of LandMarks 2017/Repères 2017.

Tania Willard, Secwepemc Nation, works within the shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional, often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures. Willard has been a curator in residence with grunt gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery. Willard’s curatorial work includes the national touring exhibition Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, co-curated with Kathleen Ritter at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2016 Willard received the Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art from the Hanatyshyn Foundation. Willard’s selected recent curatorial work includes; Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Nanitch: Historical BC photography and BUSH gallery as well as the upcoming LandMarks 2017/Repères 2017.


Join us for an evening of Indigenous storytelling through the work of two powerful film and exhibition projects.

Thunder in Our Voices with Drew Ann Wake, Gordon Christie and Martina Norwegian
In conjunction with Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Vancouver 2017
Four Faces of the Moon with Amanda Strong
screening and book launch

Thunder in our Voices
Forty years ago, Justice Thomas Berger of the Supreme Court of British Columbia was asked to hold hearings into a proposed natural gas pipeline across the North Coast of the Yukon, along the Mackenzie Valley, to southern markets. He elected to hold hearings in thirty Dene and Inuvialuit communities along the Valley, where residents demanded that no pipeline be built until their land claims were settled.

This was the first time that many southern Canadians had the opportunity to hear voices from the North, and a vociferous national debate about the pipeline ensued, the first shot in what has become a national discussion about resource development and Indigenous rights.

Drew Ann Wake was a young reporter covering the hearings. Eight years ago she found her audio tapes and photographs from the time. She decided to return, with photographer Linda MacCannell, to the villages along the Mackenzie River so that young people could hear the voices of their grandparents and great-grandparents.

Over the last eight years they have worked with teenagers in twenty-five northern communities, from Trout Lake to Tuktoyaktuk, to produce short films based on images and stories from the Inquiry. The result is Thunder in our Voices, an exhibition of images and films that span five generations of Dene and Inuvialuit history. The exhibition will be on display at the Indian Residential Schools Dialogue Centre on the UBC campus during the NAISA conference.

During this screening at the grunt gallery, Drew Ann will be joined by Martina Norwegian of Fort Simpson and UBC professor Dr. Gordon Christie, originally from Inuvik, who will discuss how stories told by the Dene and Inuvialuit over 125 years continue to have an impact on the communities of the North. An audience discussion will follow.

Four Faces of the Moon
Four Faces of the Moon is a multi-media installation that provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the elaborate sets, puppets, and props created for the new stop motion animated film by the same name. The story is told in four chapters, which explore the reclamation of language and Nationhood, and peel back the layers of Canada’s colonial history.

A personal story told through the eyes of director and writer Amanda Strong, as she connects the oral and written history of her family as well as the history of the Michif (Métis), Cree and Anishinaabe people and their cultural ties to the buffalo. Canada’s extermination agenda of the buffalo isn’t recorded as fervently as it was in the United States, yet the same tactics were used north of the border to control the original inhabitants of the land. This story seeks to uncover some of that history and establish the importance of cultural practice, resistance and language revival from a personal perspective.

The exhibition catalogue includes texts by Kristen Dowell and Dylan Miner. Copies of the publication will be available for sale.

Read more about the Four Faces of the Moon exhibition here.



Gordon Christie is an Associate Professor of Law,Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia; and is Director of the Indigenous Legal Studies Program. Professor Christie is of Inupiat/Inuvialuit ancestry and specializes in Aboriginal law. His teaching is primarily in the fields of Aboriginal law and legal theory, and his research work is entirely concerned with these two realms (and their intersection). His most recent work focuses on how colonial systems of cultural meaning frame Canadian jurisprudence around Aboriginal rights.

Martina Norwegian is a Dene woman, born and raised in Liildili Kue (Fort Simpson) in the Deh Cho Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. A leader in her community, she has advocated that consistency be the key for making a difference in local programs & services. As a First Nation member, her participation and advocacy for the “voices not heard” has always been a prime focus, whether in Education, History preservation and in the four quadrants of life. Martina served for many years on both the local and regional Boards of Education. She participated for 27 years in the  promotion & preservation of  history through the local Fort Simpson Historical Society. Their major accomplishment, through perseverance and dedication of local volunteers, has been the Fort Simpson Heritage Park: identifying local historical landmarks and building a museum which will house artefacts and information about the history of the Dehcho. Although the building is near completion, the real work has only just begun, as we strive to make the difference we want to see in ourselves and our communities.

In the 1970s, Drew Ann Wake worked for the CBC and the National Film Board, covering the hearings of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry as it travelled to thirty Dene and Inuvialuit communities across the North. She subsequently began a career in exhibition design, creating museums and science centres across Europe, in the United States and Canada. She produced thirty educational computer games that ask players to resolve environmental and social issues. Returning to Canada, Drew Ann began working on her current exhibition, Thunder in our Voices, which incorporates interactive video shot with the Dene and Inuvialuit leaders who testified before the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry.

Amanda Strong is an Indigenous filmmaker, media artist and stop motion director currently based out of the unceded Coast Salish territory also known as Vancouver. She is the owner and director of Spotted Fawn Productions, an animation and media-based studio creating short films, commercial projects and workshops. A labour of love, Amanda’s productions collaborate with a diverse and talented group of artists putting emphasis on support and training women and Indigenous artists.

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Media Contact for the exhibition:

Tarah Hogue, grunt gallery | 604-875-9516 or,


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