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Oxygen Art Centre

Overburden Exhibition Hosts a Weekend of Programming

Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson BC and Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar BC announce a unique collaborative group exhibition. Overburden: Geology, Excavation and Metamorphosis in a Chaotic Age will take place in two art centres in two rural communities, with exhibition schedules as follows: Oxygen Art Centre: 1 June – 10 July, 2021, Kootenay Gallery of Art: 18 June – 21 August, 2021.
A weekend of special online programming featuring artist panels, performances and workshops will be held on Saturday June 19 and Sunday June 20, 2021. All events and workshops are free and open to the public. To register for events, please visit www.overburden.ca. Programming events will be recorded and accessible online following the live events. 
Please find full schedule and descriptions here:
Saturday June 19, 2021:
10:45-11:00 – Opening words from curators Maggie Shirley and Genevieve Robertson 
11:00 – 12:00 – Keynote Speaker – Patti Bailey
Patti Bailey, qʷn̓qʷin̓x̌n̓ is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation sn̓ʕay̓čkstx (Sinixt), in Inchelium, Washington and practices traditional and contemporary weaving. The last twenty years of her career were spent working as an Environmental Planner for the Colville Tribal government to develop and implement strategies and cooperative working relationships to deal with decades of impact to river communities, Tribal people, and natural resources from Columbia River pollution sources in Canada. Patti Bailey shares this story through a discussion of downstream toxicity, environmental advocacy through citizen science, and lack of corporate accountability.
1:00 – 4:30 – Panel Talks
Panel 1: 1:00-2:30 
Documenting Change: Place-based knowledge, resource extraction and shifting climate patterns
Artists Tara Nicholson, Carol Wallace, Sarah Nance, and Gabriela Escobar Ari
More information on each artist’s work found at: www.overburden.ca  
Panel 2:  2:45-4:30
Imaginaries: Speculative and embodied ways of relating to rock, mineral and mountain
Artists Jim Holyoak + Darren Fleet, Randy Lee Cutler, Asinnajaq, Keith Langergraber
More information on each artist’s work found at: www.overburden.ca  
4:30-4:45 – Closing remarks
Sunday June 20th
11:15 am – Zoom Window Open
11:30 – 12:00 pm – Marseille Tidal Gauge Aria performed by artist Sarah Nance
Marseille Tidal Gauge Aria is a vocal performance composed from tide level data collected over the past 130 years from a tidal gauge in the bay of Marseille, France. The artist converted each yearly average tide level into a note within her vocal range and set the resulting atonal composition to a poem from Rasu-Yong Tugen’s Songs from the Black Moon. Nance performs the piece operatically, drawing on the genre’s propensity for magnified human emotion; the rising sea levels in the bay can be heard in the increasingly higher pitches of the aria.
1:00 – 2:30 pm 
Writing Workshop: ‘Listening to the Stones’ with Randy Lee Cutler 
This writing workshop engages with mineral specimens for the purposes of condensation and displacement. What this means is that we will listen to a collection of geological formations through a series of responses, writing genres and breathing exercises. By collapsing these approaches together, our aim is to connect with deep time, unknowing as well as those informal knowledge practices that might shift our thinking to one of interdependence in a more than human world.
Comic Workshop:  ‘Storytelling Across Deep Time’ with Jim Holyoak and Darren Fleet 
After introductions and a brief presentation, participants will be guided through the process of an ‘856’ writing circle, with an aim of generating spontaneous, free-associative creative writing. Selections of this will be used as material for dialogue and narration within comics, drawn in the second half of the workshop. This drawing segment of the workshop will also include stretching, warm-up exercises focusing on mark-making, line weight and techniques for drawing comics. Please come prepared to share, with several sharpened pencils and a pad of paper.
Organized by artist and curator Genevieve Robertson on behalf of Oxygen Art Centre and Kootenay Gallery curator Maggie Shirley, the exhibition will feature eleven artists, including 2020 Sobey Art award winners Tsēmā Igharas and Asinnijaq. Other participating artists are Gabriela Escobar Ari, Patti Bailey, Randy Lee Cutler, Darren Fleet, Jim Holyoak, Keith Langergraber, Sarah Nance, Tara Nicholson and Carol Wallace. The included artists are from the Kootenays, across Canada, and the US.
The title of the show, Overburden, references the topsoil and vegetation that is removed before mining takes place. It also references our earth’s current condition and the psychological burden that many people experience in the face of climate and other ecological changes. 
Overburden brings together a group of artists whose shared concerns address geology and its relationship to shifting climate patterns and resource extraction, in both a regional and global context. Artists respond to mining histories in the Kootenay area, arctic ice melt that is uncovering paleontological data, mining reclamation practices and glacial seismic events. While some artists bear witness to harmful extraction practices and an ever more unstable world, others seek to find caring, embodied and imaginative ways to come into relationship with the geologic material under our feet and interwoven into our everyday. 
For further information contact Oxygen Art Centre at info@oxygenartcentre.org or the Kootenay Gallery at kootenaygallery@telus.net
Oxygen Art Centre and the Kootenay Gallery of Art would like to thank the primary funders, Canada Council for the Arts, the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, British Columbia Arts Council and the Government of British Columbia, as well as sponsors Teck and Columbia Power. 
Image Credit: Patti Bailey qʷn̓qʷin̓x̌n̓, Photo by Diane Beals
For more information contact:
Maggie Shirley
Curator, Kootenay Gallery of Art