May 13 – July 23, 2023
Within the spun fibres of yarn, the warp and weft of a weaving, the blocks of a quilt and the bond of indigo dye to fabric, textiles hold boundless knowledge, transmitted over generations. The exhibited artists draw on complex histories and rich cultural and personal practices connected to textiles to build sculptural works that move away from the gallery wall. Their techniques span weaving, dyeing, knotting and casting, among other processes. The artworks, created from a variety of organic and manufactured materials—from animal fibres and plant material to wire, rubber silicone and plastic—fill the gallery from floor to ceiling. The works’ relation to the body, three-dimensional space and evolving technologies stitch together the varied artworks presented in Transmissions.
About the Artists
JONATHAN ALFARO (he/them) is a queer LatinX interdisciplinary artist exploring self-preservation through the production of comfort and memory. Alfaro uses a range of mediums to interrogate concepts through a materially experimental practice. This approach centres expansive exploration, allowing for a natural evolution in the development of their work. Reading, listening, sharing and conversation are fundamental to the way Alfaro researches and forms ideas. Considering his practice parallel to writing, Alfaro makes use of his work as a portal to reformulate work. Using a revisionist methodology, he considers and re-examines each decision in current and completed work. Alfaro received a BFA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Practices from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
KATHERINE BOYER (Métis/white settler) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on methods bound to textile arts and the handmade, primarily woodworking and beadwork. Boyer’s art and research encompasses personal family narratives, entwined with Métis history, material culture and architectural spaces (human-made and natural). Her work often explores boundaries between two opposing things in an effort to better understand both sides of a perceived dichotomous identity. This manifests in long, slow, considerate and laborious processes that attempt to unravel and better understand history, environmental influences and personal memory.
Boyer earned a BFA in Sculpture with an emphasis on Printmaking from the University of Regina and an MFA at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. She currently is Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art.
ROXANNE CHARLES is a mixed media artist from Semiahmoo First Nation who explores a variety of mediums including painting, weaving, sculpture, ceramics, and installation-based works. She is an active and proud member of her community, where she promotes arts, language and culture. Her artwork explores and documents a variety of issues that reflect her daily life as an Indigenous woman on Turtle Island such as spirituality, identity, urbanization, trauma and various forms of systemic violence. Charles is a contemporary storyteller and historian who aims to touch, move and inspire others through her work. Her work activates visual representation, oral history and ceremony—methods utilized by the Semiahma People for thousands of years. Charles received a BFA and a BA in General Studies from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, and an MFA from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
EMILY HERMANT is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores themes of communication, technology, gendered labour and craft. She received her BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University, Montreal, and her MFA as a Trustee Merit Scholar in Fiber & Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been featured in ArtSlant, Espace Sculpture and Time Out Chicago. Hermant has been awarded grants from the BC Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and held residencies at the Burrard Arts Foundation, Vancouver; Haystack, Deer Isle, ME; ACRE, Steuben, WI; Ox-Bow School of Art, Saugatuck, MI; and Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale, Norway. Hermant is based in Vancouver, where she is Associate Professor in Sculpture + Expanded Practices at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She is represented by Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver.
DAMLA TAMER is a visual artist and educator born in Istanbul, Turkey. She has lived on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories since 2009. Her practice involves a close engagement with craft alongside spoken performances and collaborative social work. She has had solo exhibitions at Fonderie Darling, Montreal, 2013; fifty fifty arts collective, Victoria, 2018; and Gibsons Public Art Gallery, Gibsons, BC, 2022. Tamer’s work was included in The Artist’s Studio Is Her Bedroom at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, curated by Kimberly Phillips, in 2020 and featured on the cover of issue 3.42 (Translingual) of the Capilano Review in 2020. She is a founding member of the artist collective art/mamas and has taught at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, all in Vancouver.
VALÉRIE D. WALKER is a force of nature. Materiality rooted, trans-media artist, alchemist, Indigo Griot. She holds ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) and Chado (tea ceremony) instructor degrees with Urasenke, Kyoto. An AfroFuturist time traveller, her queer femme epigentic identity holds oceans: African diaspora Blackness, Hawai’ian, Latinx, Japanese, Scottish pirate and more.
Walker’s artwork interweaves environmental and self-healing, natural dyeing, hand-shaped resist patterning, pigment printing, quotidian femme-life actions, sensorially immersive fibre-based installations, storytelling and Black Panther-esque community-centric activism. She was welcomed to the unceded lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Sell With (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations by Hereditary Chief Marilyn Gabriel.