Speaking in Landscape Tongues / Speaking to the Old Ones

/ Opening @ 8:00pm

Western Front

Speaking in Landscape Tongues, September 10 – October 17

Performance by Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Scott Thomson: September 10, 7:30pm

Faye HeavyShield, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Marianne Nicholson, Jason Lujan, James Nicholas & Sandra Semchuk

Museum of Anthropology

Speaking to the Old Ones, September 3 – October 18

Kevin Burton, Helen Haig-Brown, Jason Lujan, Sandra Semchuk & James Nicholas

Western Front Exhibitions is pleased to present two interrelated group exhibitions- Speaking in Landscape Tongues andSpeaking to the Old Ones—curated by Peter Morin, curator-in-residence at the Western Front. Both exhibitions represent the collective investigations of some of North America’s leading Aboriginal artists, who explore the significance of indigenous language speaking as it relates to their creative practices. “Knowing our language is a medicine that is essential to our survival,” says curator Peter Morin.

Speaking in Landscape Tongues will take place at the Western Front Gallery and features new works by Faye HeavyShield, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Marianne Nicholson, Jason Lujan, and collaborators James Nicholas and Sandra Semchuk. Each artist, as a speaker and student of his or her indigenous language, examines the relationship between being a speaker of the language and a maker of culture in the contemporary Canadian landscape.

In conjunction with the opening of Speaking in Landscape Tongues, Cheryl L’Hirondelle will be premiering a new performance work created in collaboration with Toronto-based artist Scott Thompson. Through soundmaking, L’Hirondelle and Thomson make a return to the beginning of language speaking, a place of playfulness. The performance takes the audience beyond the spiritual, cultural, and political obstacles on the journey of learning our native tongues.

The concurrent exhibition, Speaking to the Old Ones, will be presented at the Museum of Anthropology, located at the University of British Columbia, and features new media and video installations by Kevin Burton, Helen Haig-Brown, Jason Lujan and James Nicholas and Sandra Semchuk. Installed amongst older works housed in the Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall, the placement of contemporary artworks in direct conversation with the Museum’s objects relates the experience of telling stories between elders and youth, between communities, between urban experiences and history, and between our indigenous community objects and their making.

The Western Front gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council through the Government of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, Direct Access Gaming, our members and volunteers. In particular, the Western Front acknowledges the support from the Aboriginal Curator for Residency program and the Artist and Community Collaborative program. The Western Front is a member of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC).

Exhibition is held concurrently at the Museum of Anthropology, at the University of British Columbia