• Lindsay Brown

    Lindsay Brown is a Vancouver writer. She has written on artists Brian Jungen and Geoffrey Farmer, among others

  • Wayde Compton

    Wayde Compton is a Vancouver writer and editor whose books include 49th Parallel Psalm, Performance Bond and Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature. He also performs live turntable-based audio poetry with The Contact Zone Crew.

  • Marianne Nicolson

    Nicolson is a member of the Dzawada’enuxw Tribe of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations who reside on the coastal mainland of British Columbia. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and a MFA in Visual Art from the University of Victoria. She has presented solo exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2008), Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (2007), Artspeak (2006), Thunder Bay Art Gallery (2002), and the National Indian Art Centre (2001). She has also participated in group exhibitions at Equinox Gallery (2011), 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010), Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver (2010), the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Olympic Museum, Lausanne (2009), Museum of Arts & Design, New York (2005), and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (1999), among others. Her artworks are contemporary expressions of traditional Kwakwaka’wakw concepts. Due to an emerging belief that these concepts could be better understood through comprehension of the Kwak’wala language and a growing concern over the endangered status of this indigenous language, she engaged in linguistic and anthropological study at the University of Victoria where she completed an Interdisciplinary MA in 2005. In 2012, she completed her PhD research involving the conceptualization of space and time in Kwakwaka’wakw language and art and the importance of indigenous language to indigenous worldview.

  • Ian Skedd

    Ian Skedd is a Vancouver artist. Since graduating from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2001 he has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver and the Trylowsky Gallery, Vancouver. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver; Atelier Gallery, Vancouver; and Antechamber, Regina.

  • Daina Warren

    Daina Warren is of the Montana Slavey Cree Nation, and is a contemporary artist and curator.  She graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2003. From 2000 – 2002 she was in residence at the grunt gallery through Canada Council’s Assistance to Aboriginal Curators for Residencies in the Visual Arts. She is currently curator and administrator at the grunt gallery and has organized numerous projects and exhibitions.  Upcoming projects include the visual art component for the World Urban Forum and World Peace Forum, and an Aboriginal Elders exhibition. Her work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions at the Or Gallery, Vancouver; Campbell River Public Gallery; and Alternator, Kelowna.

  • Melanie O’Brian

    Director/Curator of Artspeak 2004–2010.


Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls

January 7–February 11, 2006

Marianne Nicolson works in a variety of media to express Kwakwaka’wakw concepts in both traditional manners (which remain within traditional contexts) and in contemporary manners (which are meant for exhibition under contemporary conditions). For her exhibition at Artspeak, she is taking the gallery’s context as a starting point to consider the objectification and commercialization of Pacific Northwest Coast Aboriginal objects and cultures. Her site-specific installation, Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls, utilizes Artspeak’s storefront Gastown location. Gastown is home to several leading commercial vendors of Pacific Northwest Coast Aboriginal Art, as well as vendors that are selling cultural kitsch. Together these businesses drive a significant percentage of traditional Northwest Coast art production.

Nicolson’s Artspeak installation centres around an altered bentwood chest constructed from cedar and etched glass. While bentwood chests are traditionally meant to hold articles of value, Nicholson’s decorated chest will contain and spill light, so that shadows are cast onto the gallery walls. These projected shadows index the rich and ephemeral concepts from which this object is conceived. The viewer, upon entering the gallery, will physically interrupt the throw of light to add another layer of shadows. Referencing the traditional tale of how Raven stole the sun from a chief (who kept it in a box) to release it for the entire world’s benefit, Nicolson’s Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls proposes a distinction between the object and it’s contents. Nicolson’s chest is both a play on a consumable object and a receptacle and/or projector of cultural dialogue.

Postscript 18: Daina Warren on Bakwina`tsi: the Container for Souls (PDF)


  • Scene of Translations

    Translations front
    Translations spine
    Translations back

    Title: Scene of Translations
    Category: Exhibition Catalogue
    Artist: Ian Skedd, Marianne Nicolson
    Writers: Lindsay Brown, Wayde Compton
    Design: Julian Gosper
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Year published: 2006
    Pages: 32pp
    Cover: Paper
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 10 b&w images
    Dimensions: 25 x 17 x 0.5 cm
    Weight: 164 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-54-3
    Price: $5 CDN

    In Scene of Translations, Lindsay Brown, Wayde Compton, Marianne Nicolson, and Ian Skedd interpret visual, textual, aural, and cultural languages to provide a platform on which multiple translations can occur. The texts by Brown and Compton bring together disparate threads of the problems and potentialities of hybridity and translation. Through etymological investigation, transferals of history, and the metaphors of commuter crows and passenger pigeons, Scene of Translations offers an entry point into translatory perambulations. Nicolson and Skedd present architecture and sculpture as translational, resituating the audience not only within the gallery, but in relationship to other viewers. Both artists present new pathways in their consideration of form’s social aspects, indicating that the gallery, like the publication, is a space where transformation and reconsideration are possible.

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