Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

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.

– 30 –

Media Contact for the exhibition:

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



Exhibition Title: Interwoven

Artist: LOVE BC and BYRC

Opening: April 28, 6 pm-8:30 pm (closing reception)

Exhibition Dates: April 25-28 2017


We are pleased to be hosting a community exhibition, InterWoven: The space where our stories meet, a youth art project where the artists explore the concept of intersections of stories and experiences. The youth learn about each other’s stories through various forms of art. Our stories are interconnected and woven with each others.

The Interwoven Art Exhibition is a partnership between Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Society BC and the Broadway Youth Resource Centre hosted by grunt gallery.

This event is taking place on the Unceded Territories of the
xʷməθkʷəyəm, Skwxwu7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

Contingent Bodies

Exhibition Title: Contingent Bodies

Artist: Brigitta Kocsis

Opening: March 2, 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: March 3 - April 15, 2017

ARTIST TALK: Saturday, March 4, 2:30 PM

Brigitta Kocsis’ paintings blend realism, illustration and expressive painterly gestures in a chaotic and visually charged landscape. Her current series, Contingent Bodies, focuses on the representation of bodies in transformation – both organic and unfamiliar. The painting’s surface is used to transform energies and refabricate the body with suggestions of contamination, connectivity and displacement, reflecting Kocsis’ cultural history as a Hungarian, Romany and Canadian. Fragmented bodies emerge in the play between abstraction and figuration, embedded in perpetual rootlessness, containing exile and otherness within themselves. These polymorphic figures confront sexual and cultural categorization, recasting the body as part imaginary and part construct. Exploring notions of the cyborg and the prosthetic, these figures exist between the human and post-human, biotechnological and sexualized bodies, and the fashion industry and anime.


Brigitta Kocsis was born in Sarospatak, Hungary, to a Hungarian father and a Romani mother. Kocsis works in multimedia installation, video and painting, which integrates abstract and figurative elements. Her work has been included in group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Geneva Art Biennale; the Balassi Institute, Finland; Szeged University, Hungary; Harcourt House, Canada; Okotoks Art Gallery, Canada; and the Burnaby Art Gallery, Canada. She studied drawing at the Studio For Young Artists (Fiatal Muveszek Klubja-FMK), attended the Marczibanyi-teri kor (Marczibanyi Education Center) in Budapest as well as Concordia University in Montreal. She received her BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2005. Kocsis lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.

Download the exhibition handout with an essay by Clint Burnham here.

Funding for this project was received by the Hamber Foundation.

Image: BK12, 2015, acrylic on canvas.

Three Cities: Prayer and Protest

Exhibition Title: Three Cities: Prayer and Protest

Artist: Mere Phantoms | Maya Ersan & Jaimie Robson

Opening: January 12, 2017, 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: January 13 – February 18, 2017

Three Cities: Prayer and Protest is a shadow-based installation that investigates sites of tension, controversy, and contact within three cosmopolitan environments. Inspired by recent cities the artists have lived and worked in (including Istanbul, Montreal and Vancouver), the exhibition explores notions of prayer and protest as communal expressions of personal hope, desire, demand and outrage.

Each ‘city’ becomes a palimpsest in which layers of social, cultural, economic, and political differences come into dialogue. Made from intricately cut paper sculptures, each city is presented as as “island”. These islands are explored by the viewer with the use of mobile lights created for the installation. As the viewer moves through the space, the miniature paper imagery comes alive. Large scale shadows fill the gallery walls and the viewer, who was initially towering over the fragile paper cities, is now surrounded by layers of giant shadow.

Audio composition by Chris Carrière.


ARTIST TALK: Saturday, January 14, 2:00 PM
grunt gallery, #116 – 350 E 2nd Ave


PERFORMANCE: Garden of Earthly Delights
co-presented by CSA Space, grunt gallery and PUSH Festival

January 19- 21, 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Performances take place every 20 minutes during event hours. Very limited capacity.

CSA Space, 2422 Main Street, Vancouver (Entrance through Pulpfiction Books)

Tickets: $10 –> SOLD OUT

Inspired by the Hieronymus Bosch painting of the same name, this is an experience of the city as rendered in darkness. In this immersive journey, viewers are guided by shadow projections and sound cues to bring a procession of dreamscapes to life. With specially designed light wands, spectators move from a lush tropical jungle to an urban one encountering characters, at times absurd and fantastical amidst fight, flight and displacement.

The cityscape appears as shadows on the wall, becoming an abstraction even as its physical essence is laid bare. Mere Phantoms takes 16th century notions of heaven and hell and welds them to a modern inquiry. Is this fantasy or nightmare? Decide for yourself as you experience the magic via light and paper. This is illusionism at its finest—refined down to a beautiful binary of black and white.

Audio composition by Chris Carrière.

This exhibition is graciously supported by the Conseil des artistes québécois.


Mere Phantoms is the Montreal-based duo Maya Ersan and Jaimie Robson, who are inspired by early cinema, papercutting and shadow theatre. Their work has appeared internationally.

Check out Mere Phantoms website



Exhibition Title: #callresponse

Artist: Christi Belcourt, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Tania Willard, Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and their guest respondents: Isaac Murdoch, Esther Neff, IV Castellanos, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Marcia Crosby, Tanya Tagaq

Opening: October 28, 2016 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm with performances throughout the day

Exhibition Dates: October 29 - December 10, 2016

To support the work of Indigenous North American women and artists through local art commissions that incite dialogue and catalyze action between individuals, communities, territories and institutions. To stand together across sovereign territories as accomplices in awakened solidarity with all our relations both human and non.

To ground art in responsible action, value lived experience, and demonstrate ongoing commitment to accountability and community building. To respond to re/conciliation as a present day negotiation and the reconstruction of communities in the aftermath of colonial trauma.


Strategically centering Indigenous women as vital presences across multiple platforms, #callresponse is a multifaceted project that includes a website, social media platform, touring exhibition and catalogue (forthcoming in 2017).

Five site-specific art commissions have been taking place across Canada and into the United States throughout 2016 in dialogue with various publics. The exhibition will include selected representations of each project. Each artist has invited a guest to respond to their work and these contributions will also be included in the exhibition.

Moving between specific sites, online space and grunt gallery, #callresponse focuses on forms of performance, process and translation. An online platform utilizing the hashtag #callresponse on social media (FacebookInstagram, Twitter) connects the geographically diverse sites and provides opportunities for networked exchanges.

A dedicated project website includes artist statements, documentation, contributions from guest respondents, and integrated social media, including a series of interviews with the lead artists and their respondents on the Broken Boxes Podcast.

Use the hashtag #callresponse to get involved in the conversation!


1:00 – 4:00 PM: Maria Hupfield, IV Castellanos and Esther Neff
Location: Motion Capture Studio, ECUAD (Room 285e, 1399 Johnston St, Granville Island)

4:00 – 7:00 PM: Ursula Johnson with Charlene Aleck, Audrey Siegl and Cease Wyss
Location: community park behind grunt gallery (E 5th Ave @ Brunswick) Rain or shine!

8:30 PM: Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq
Location: Native Education College (285 E 5th Ave @ Scotia)


#callresponse is produced in partnership with grunt gallery and generously supported by the {Re}conciliation initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Additional funding support from the British Columbia Arts Council.

Presentation partners include BUSH Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, FADO Performance Art Centre, Kamloops Art Gallery, OFFTA live art festival, the National Arts Centre, and the Native Education College.

Tarah Hogue | Maria Hupfield | Tania Willard
in partnership with grunt gallery


> RSVP to the Facebook event here

> Official #callresponse website

> #callresponse Facebook group

> #callresponse on Twitter

> #callresponse on Instagram

> #callresponse on Broken Boxes Podcasts


Read Laura Mars’ response to the opening performances of #callresponse at grunt gallery here.

Watch the #callresponse video trailer here

#callresponse from grunt gallery on Vimeo.


Artist Bios

Christi Belcourt is a Métis visual artist with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of her people. The majority of her work explores and celebrates the beauty of the natural world. Author of Medicines To Help Us (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007) and Beadwork (Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010), Christi’s work is found within the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall. Christi is a past recipient of awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Chalmers Family Fund and the Métis Nation of Ontario. In 2014 she was named Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council and shortlisted for the Premier’s Award. She is currently the lead coordinator for Walking With Our Sisters.

Maria Hupfield is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, currently based in Brooklyn NY. Selected for SITELINES, SITE Santa Fe 2016, she received national recognition in the USA from the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation for her hand-sewn industrial felt sculptures. Her nine-foot birchbark canoe made of industrial felt was performed in Venice, Italy for the premiere of Jiimaan, coinciding with the Venice Biennale 2015. Recent projects include free play, Trestle Gallery Brooklyn with Jason Lujan, and Chez BKLYN, an exhibition highlighting the fluidity of individual and group dynamics of collective art practices across native, non-native, and immigrant experience; conceived by artists in Brooklyn and relayed at Galerie SE Konst, Sweden. She was a guest speaker for the Distinguished Visiting Artist Program, University of British Columbia, Indigenous Feminist Activism & Performance event at Yale, Native American Cultural Center and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Indigenous Rights/Indigenous Oppression symposium with Tanya Tagaq at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, MD. Like her mother and settler accomplice father before her, Hupfield is an advocate of native community arts and activism. The founder of 7th Generation Image Makers, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, a native youth arts and mural outreach program in downtown Toronto she is Co-owner of the blog Native Art Department International. Hupfield is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau in Montreal.

Ursula Johnson is an emerging performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and has participated in over 30 group shows and 5 solo exhibitions. Her performances are often place-based and employ cooperative didactic intervention. Through the medium of durational performance art she enters into laborious tasks/circumstances that create repetitive strain on her body and mind while creating tension with the viewer. Elmiet (He/She Goes Home) 2010 is an example of work, created specifically for Nova Scotia’s Cultural History regarding the 1756 Scalping Proclamation, where Johnson created an event to host the last scalping in Nova Scotia. Johnson’s recent work Mi’kwite’tmn employs various sculptural mediums to create consideration from her audience about aspects of intangible cultural heritage as it pertains to the consumption of traditional knowledge within the context of colonial institutions. Mi’kwite’tmn: Do You Remember (hosted by Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery) is a solo exhibition currently on a Canadian National Tour. Johnson has been selected as a finalist for the Salt Spring National Art Prize and has twice been longlisted for the Sobey Art Award. She has presented publicly in lectures, keynote addresses and hosted a number of community forums around topics of ‘Indigenous Self-Determination through Art’ and the ‘Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability in Contemporary Indigenous Art Practices’, ‘The History and Impacts of Economics on The Indigenous Object’ as well as ‘Renegotiating Conservation: Revisiting the Roles and Responsibilities of Cultural Institutions in Canada regarding Indigenous Made Objects.

Tania Willard, Secwe̓pemc 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 worked as an artist in residence with Gallery Gachet in Vancouver, Banff Centre’s visual arts residency, and as a curator in residence with grunt gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery. Willard’s work is in the collections of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kamloops Art Gallery and Thompson Rivers University. Willard’s curatorial work includes Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, co-curated with Kathleen Ritter and Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun at the Museum of Anthropology with Karen Duffek. Current projects include Rule of the Trees, a public art project at Commercial Broadway SkyTrain station and BUSH gallery, a conceptual land-based gallery grounded in Indigenous knowledges.

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory is a performer of uaajeerneq – Greenlandic mask dancing, music, drum-dancing, a storyteller and actor. Her career has allowed her to travel all across Canada and to many wondrous parts of the world. Laakkuluk’s poetry was recently commissioned for the exhibit Fifth World (2015), curated by Wanda Nanibush, Mendel Art Gallery Saskatoon and the Kitchener Art Gallery. Her collaboration with Maria Hupfield From the Belly to the Moon (2012), a six part postcard exchange project connecting performance art in Iqaluit to New York was a Fuse Magazine artist project. In addition to her poetry, theatre and uaajeerneq, Laakkuluk is a founding member and Programme Manager of Qaggiavuut! Society for a Nunavut Performing Arts Centre. Qaggiavuut! is the lead in a team called Qaggiq that was a laureate to the prestigious Arctic Inspiration Prize. Laakkuluk is a co-creator and actor of Tulugak—a circumpolar theatre piece studying the relationship between Inuit and ravens.Tulugak was a first of its kind and the flagship performance of the Northern Scene Festival at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 2013. Laakkuluk is currently working with Tanya Tagaq on a number of different performances, both live and filmed. She has also curated projects that challenge outdated museum exhibition practices for Inuit culture at the Art Gallery of Ontario including: Inuit Art in Motion (2003) and Illitarivingaa? Do You Recognize me?(2004), which additionally brought youth together across urban and rural environments through Tauqsiijiit, an onsite residence and youth media lab located at the heart of the exhibition with participants from: Igloolik Isuma Productions, Qaggiq Theatre, Siqiniq Productions, Daybi, Tungasuvvingat Inuit Youth Drop In Centre (Ottawa), 7th Generation Image Makers (Native Child and Family Services of Toronto), Debajehmujig Theatre Group (Wikwemikong) and Qaggiq Theatre (Iqaluit).

Tarah Hogue is the 2016 Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellow with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and Curator at grunt gallery in Vancouver. Her work with Indigenous People in Canada aims to decenter institutional space and history. Using collaborative methodologies and a careful attentiveness to place, she prioritizes responsible research methodologies of Indigenous knowledge that are grounded in the intersectional practices of Indigenous feminisms, re/conciliation, and cultural resurgence. Recent curatorial projects include Unsettled Sites, a group show on haunting settler colonialism at SFU Gallery; and Cutting Copper: Indigenous Resurgent Practice, a collaboration between grunt gallery and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery UBC, co-organizer Shelly Rosenblum. Previous exhibits featured the work of residential school survivors in Canada and their descendants, including NET-ETH: Going Out of the Darkness, co-curated with Rose M. Spahan, Malaspina Printmakers; and Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, co-curated by Geoffrey Carr, Dana Claxton, Tarah Hogue, Shelly Rosenblum, Charlotte Townsend-Gault and Keith Wallace. Hogue is writer-in-residence for thirstDays with VIVO Media Arts, and has written for BlackFlash Magazine (forthcoming) Canadian Art, Decoy Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, and MICE Magazine (forthcoming). She holds an MA in Art History, Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia and a BA(H) in Art History from Queen’s University. Hogue is Métis/French Canadian and of Dutch Canadian ancestry, she grew up in Red Deer Alberta, on the border between Treaty 6 and 7 along the original trading route of the Métis. She identifies as an uninvited guest on the unceded Coast Salish territories of Vancouver BC where she has lived since 2008.

Isaac Murdoch / Manzinapkinegego’anaabe / Bombgiizhik, is fish clan from Serpent River First Nation, Ontario. Isaac grew up hunting, fishing, trapping and learning from indigenous cultural knowledge carriers on the northern regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Isaac is well respected as a storyteller and keeper of Anishinaabe traditions. He is known for his cultural camps and community workshops that focus on the transfer of knowledge to youth. Murdoch holds specialized expertise in: historical Anishinaabe paint techniques, reading and writing pictographs and birch bark scrolls, indigenous harvesting in the great lakes region, medicine walks, birchbark canoe making, Anishinaabeg ceremonies and oral history. He has committed his life to the preservation of Anishinaabek cultural practices.

IV Castellanos  “Abstract performance art has been the vein for my physical memory to thrive. Simply, I create objects and destroy them. In creating this gesture I am able to articulate ideas that I shifted and bottle necked down one resonating path. All of the information is channeled but visually clear, concise and often under 15 minutes. The interest is in transforming energy and the route has been moulded over the course of performing by trimming the fat and getting the job done. Labor is a source for my work, the physical body moving through day to day direction and carrying an othered body under constant critique and observation. There is power in focused action. Timing allows the intensity to maintain saturation for the viewer to barely digest in the moment.” – IV Castellanos. IV Castellanos lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She founded IV Soldiers Gallery, is an active community member and performs regularly in performance art spaces throughout Brooklyn.

Esther Neff is the founder and co-director of Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL), a collective making operas-of-operations and a laboratory site for performance projects celebrating it’s 10th anniversary in 2016. She is a collaborative and solo performance artist, and independent theorist and a member of Feminist Art Group, Social Health Performance Club and Organizers Against Imperialist Culture. Neff has curated and organized numerous performance projects for art festivals and conferences in New York and is based out of Bushwick in Brooklyn. Her current work and research is a series of operations entitled Embarrassed of the Whole a multi-year project to be executed for a full month in February 2017.

Cheryl L’Hirondelle  is a community-engaged interdisciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and new media curator originally from the land now known as Canada. She is of Cree/Métis and German Canadian  background and her creative practice is an investigation of the intersection of a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) and contemporary time-space. Her current projects include: community engaged singing workshops with incarcerated women, men and detained youth;  international songwriting/mapping media installations where she ‘sings land’; and a series of Cree language songs (with Moe Clark and long time collaborator Joseph Naytowhow). She is the sole proprietor of Miyoh Music, an Indigenous niche music publishing company and is currently writing about her work process in collaborative approaches as a PhD candidate at UCD in Dublin, Ireland.

Marcia Crosby works as a researcher, writer and curator and has taught Literature and Native Studies at Vancouver Island University for 16 years. She has contributed essays on the work of Emily Carr, Bill Reid, Rebecca Belmore, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, and is the author of the influential essay, “Construction of the Imaginary Indian.” Crosby’s current PhD in Art History, Visual Culture and Theory, UBC, Vancouver extends her curatorial research and writing for the exhibition, Nations in Urban Landscapes (1994). Her doctoral work has focused on the creation of public cultural practices and space for diverse publics by Salishan and Tsimshian people (ca. 1900) as acts of social reproduction and contestation. Recent curatorial works include: “Aboriginal art in the city: Fine and Popular” in Vancouver Art in the 60s (Curator and writer) 2008+; “The Paintings of Henry Speck: Udz’stalis”, co-written and co-curated with Karen Duffek, Museum of Anthropology (MOA) 2012.

Tanya Tagaq earned the prestigious 2014 Polaris Music Prize for her album Animism and is a multi-Juno award winning vocalist. A genre unto herself she is rooted in tradition, her unique vocal style aligns with avant-garde improvisation, metal, and electronica influences. She delivers fearsome, elemental performances that are visceral and physical, heaving and breathing and alive. Tagaq is from Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuutiaq), Nunavut, Canada, on the south coast of Victoria Island. Tagaq is known for her work with Björk, the Kronos Quartet, and the recent production “Nanook of The North” in which she created a mesmerizing, improvisatory soundscape for the controversial silent film by Robert J. Flanerty from 1922. Her new album Retribution is slated for release in October 2016.


Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

Exhibition Title: Tomorrow, Tomorrow.

Artist: Mark Hall-Patch

Opening: September 8, 2016 (7:00 pm - 10:00 pm)

Exhibition Dates: September 8 to October 15, 2016

Mark Hall-Patch’s series of watercolour drawings explore anarchistic art movements.  But there is a psychological edge to Hall-Patch’s works which seem depictions of alienation; the figure lost in a landscape facing grave existential danger.  The delicate nature of the drawing and watercolour in individual works make very stunning representations of failed utopian societies.

Mark Hall-Patch has degrees in Design from ECUAD and Visual Art from Langara College.  He has produced solo exhibitions at the Shack Art Collective and Shudder Gallery ad has been featured in group exhibitions at the Satellite Gallery, East Van Studios, Gam Gallery, Plank Gallery, and Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland.  Hall-Patch’s exhibition will be featured in SWARM 2016.

Four Faces of the Moon

Exhibition Title: Four Faces of the Moon

Artist: Amanda Strong

Opening: July 21, 2016

Exhibition Dates: July 22 - August 20, 2016

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.

Artistic collaborators include: Bracken Hanuse Corlett, Raven John, Femke van Delft, Chloe Bluebird, Dora Cepic, Dusty Hagerud, William Weird, Daniel Guay, Lydia Brown, Terrance Azzuolo, Callum Paterson, Tim Daniel, Joce Weird, Ian Nakamoto, Lynn Dana Wilton, Zed Alexander, Danielle Wilson, Damien Buddy Eaglebear, Colour Sound Lab Studio, Boldly Creative, Outpost Media and Menalon Music, along with the support of many others.


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.

Amanda’s work explores ideas of blood memory and Indigenous ideology. Her background in photography, illustration and media extend into her award-winning stop motion animations. Her films Indigo and Mia’ challenge conventional structures of storytelling in cinema and have screened internationally, most notably at Cannes, TIFF, VIFF, and Ottawa International Animation Festival. Amanda has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the NFB. In 2013, Amanda was the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Film and Video, and most recently the recipient of the Vancouver Mayors Arts Awards for Emerging Film and Media Artist. Amanda is currently working on her latest short animation Four Faces of the Moon for CBC Short Docs. The story is told in four chapters, exploring the reclamation of language and Nationhood, while peeling back the layers of Canada’s colonial history, revealing Canada’s extermination agenda on the buffalo.

Four Faces of the Moon is made possible with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC, Telus, BC Arts Council, Creative BC, Ontario Arts Council and the NFB Filmmakers Assistance Program.


> Purchase the exhibition catalogue online in our GIFT SHOP

> Spotted Fawn Productions

> Check out this timelapse video of the Four Faces of the Moon installation process, filmed by our wonderful volunteers Rosalina Cerritos and Jaime Torres:

***WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE the addition of a live audio-visual performance to the Four Faces of the Moon exhibition opening night on July 21st at grunt gallery. At 8pm Mob Bounce will be performing a half-hour set and they will be joined by media artist Bracken Hanuse Corlett.

Craig Frank Eades aka the Northwest Kid and Travis Hebert aka Heebz the Earthchild formed Mob Bounce in 2010 and they have been touring the country ever since. With their conscious message, dynamic style, and powerful sound steeped in Indigenous oral tradition, they are part of a new generation of artists pushing forward while respecting their roots and culture. They recently released their EP Mob Medicine and a short documentary about them was also released under the same title.

Mob Bounce on Facebook

Mob Medicine EP review and Download

Mob Medicine Mini-Doc




High Kicks into the Light Forever and Ever and Ever

Exhibition Title: High Kicks into the Light Forever and Ever and Ever

Artist: Elizabeth Milton

Opening: May 26 from 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: May 27 - June 25

High Kicks websiteHIGH KICKS SMALLER

High Kicks Into the Light Forever and Ever and Ever is a new video installation by Vancouver-based artist Elizabeth Milton that investigates the relationship between glamour, affect, and the longing for transcendental experience.

Composed of a series of immersive projections that explore performative ritual and material play, the work revolves around a procession of participants meditating under the hot glow of a spotlight. Drenched in identical heavy make-up and lacquered in artificial sweat and tears, a series of ‘women’—disembodied faces displaying exaggerated markers of high femininity—form a fevered chorus-line for the camera. Melting under the heat, the performers’ make-up is a tenuous composition, eventually smeared away in a gesture of (choreographed) self-effacement.

What is constructed fades, or rather, is obliterated. The make-up, so recognizable as an overstatement of gendered subjectivity, becomes a kaleidoscopic abstraction on white linen, acting as both colour field and performance document. Alongside sequences of props, costumes, and the garish refuse of novelty-store glamour, the images disarm assumptions of a composed subject, and point to the possibility of transcendence, an ecstasy in glitter.


Elizabeth Milton is a Vancouver-based performance and media artist who utilizes character-play to investigate constructions of identity and affective expression. Her work has been exhibited throughout Canada and developed through residencies at Access Gallery, Vancouver and the Banff Centre. Her recent performances and exhibitions have taken place at VIVO Media Arts Centre, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Nanaimo Art Gallery. Milton holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of British Columbia and a BFA in Visual Art from Simon Fraser University. She instructs courses in Studio Art at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and Langara College.

Artist Talk: June 18 @ 2:00 pm

High Kicks website


Exhibition Title: análekta

Artist: Merle Addison

Opening: April 7, 2016 from 7:00 - 10:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: April 7 to May 8, 2016

“I reuse old works, old concepts, incorporated with the new. Whatever works and I don’t stay within the lines. Nothing I make doesn’t remind me of something I’ve absorbed from the echo of the last century, the one I came of age in, and from even before. The interpretations of others and the seeing for myself.

Although generally I use photographic images and related processes as the start of the work, I don’t think of the final image as a photograph. Indeed in terms of how a photograph should look is not a concern. How the individual print looks is; the line, colour and textures of my world that I use to share my apophenia. There is an almost inherent lack of control that is integral to my work. Meaning defined and experience sensed is never the same.”

~ artist statement, Merle Addison

Análekta – meaning “to gather up; to collect” – an exhibition of new works by Merle Addison, documents his switch from analogue to digital. Reworking old images using digital overlays, the final prints owe as much to printmaking as photography. At once modern and nostalgic, the works transform the media through their highly manipulated surfaces.

Merle Addison is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art producing work in photography over 40 years. Addison has been a long time member of grunt – and has produced performance photography for the gallery – for the past 25 years. His exhibition Still curated by Archer Pechawis showed at grunt in 2000 and featured First Nations Performance Artists from across Canada.

Merle Addison’s exhibition will be featured in the photography festival Capture 2016. A monograph by Dana Claxton will accompany the exhibition.


Curated by Glenn Alteen.

> Check out Merle Addison featured in Capture Fest 2016

Skip to toolbar