ECPN’s second exposure brought artists Debra Sparrow and Justine A Chambers in conversation with Richmond Art Gallery’s Director Shaun Dacey. In Dialogue with Contemporary Arthighlights Debra and Justine’s art practices and processes as well as relations with the world they inhabit.
Debra Sparrow has been deeply involved with the revival of Musqueam weaving for over 30 years, and has many years of study, trial, and learning directly from the work of her ancestors. Her work has been collected and exhibited nationally and internationally. She was the recipient of the BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art in 2008. Most recently, she participated in “The Fabric of Our Land: Salish Weaving” at the Museum of Anthropology both as an exhibitor and as a regular, active weaving demonstrator using a traditional loom from the museum collection. In addition to her weaving, education has been of equal value to Debra Sparrow, recognizing weaving has the ability to offer stories of our heritage. It has been important for Sparrow to pass on the Salish weaving practice and Musqueam history to the future generations, which led to her involvement in the co-creation of the Musqueam Museum School with the University of British Columbia. Among teaching classes, she also shares her knowledge through public speaking, presentations, and publications.
Justine A. Chambers
Justine A. Chambers is a dance artist living and working on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her movement-based practice considers how choreography can be an empathic practice rooted in collaborative creation, close observation, and the body as a site of a cumulative embodied archive. Privileging what is felt over what is seen, she works with dances that are already there – the social choreographies present in the everyday. Chambers is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother.
Shaun Dacey is the Director of the Richmond Art Gallery. Previously he was Curator at the Contemporary Art Gallery, where he was responsible for diverse programs of exhibition, education, and off-site projects with a particular focus on the residencies and outreach with artists based at the CAG’s Burrad Marina Field House Studio. His previous positions include director/curator of Access Gallery, public programmer at the Burnaby Art Gallery, and youth programmes coordinator at Oakville Galleries. Dacey holds a master’s degree in critical and curatorial studies from the University of British Columbia.