Justine A. Chambers

A dance artist living and working on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.  Chambers’ interests lie in collaborative creation and re-imagining dance performance. In her work she focuses on what is felt over what is seen, and the dances that are already there – the social choreographies present in the everyday. She has been creating performance projects throughout Canada since 2000. Chambers is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother.


  • Semi-precious: The Faceting of a Gemstone Only Appears Complete and Critical

    March 11–March 29, 2019




    With Alison Denham, Billy Marchenski, Aryo Khakpour, Kate Franklin, Lisa Gelley, Josh Martin, Rianne Svelnis, Erika Mitsuhashi, Elissa Hanson, Ileanna Cheladyn, Kaia Shukin & Layla Marcelle Mrozowski

    As part of the studio residency, the following sessions will be open to the public. During these sessions Chambers, with members of Semi-precious, will together write, develop and rehearse movement scores. You are invited to observe these rehearsals and partake in the conversation following.

    March 13: 1–4pm, 14: 1–4pm, 16: 12–3pm, 17: 12–3pm, 23: 12–3pm, 25: 12–3pm, 27: 12–3pm, 29: 5–8pm

    Closing reception March 29, 8pm

    Semi-precious: The Faceting of a Gemstone Only Appears Complete and Critical is an ongoing project conceived of by Justine A. Chambers. The latest iteration of Semi-precious will take the form of a working studio residency, where Artspeak will be utilized as a dance studio. During this time Chambers with several long-time collaborators will together develop and write a movement and dance score. Further building on previous scores written by Chambers, Semi-precious considers the possibilities of the multiple, and the potential to build upon collective aspirations through reiterated actions.

    Grounded in a consideration of rest and healing, central to Semi-precious is the idea that the craft of faceting gemstones requires patience. Semi-precious is a study of movement, writing, speaking, feeling and forming relationships. It is through a somatic and embodied approach that the relationality between the members of Semi-precious determine the form and the shape of the work. Approaching Chambers’ scores as propositions, the studio will take the time to sit with what resonates, working towards shaping a lexicon that deepens methodologies of gesture and movement, and embodied and non-verbal forms of knowledge.

    Chambers’ residency at Artspeak is but one part of the wider project of Semi-precious that considers wider questions of how we can develop frameworks, or inhabit already existing structures and systems that allow for our collective aspirations to unfold. What are the shifts and disruptions that we want to embody, and what are the ways that we can do this together?

    For Semi-precious, to practice and work in this public manner requires an openness and acceptance of vulnerability as part of their methodology. As part of Chambers’ studio residency, a new work Rock Garden by Natalie Purschwitz has been commissioned for Artspeak’s windows. Rock Garden approaches the questions of Semi-precious through the lens of opacity and transparency to reflect a polyphony of perspectives. Rock Garden also traces the incremental passing of time, as the light of the sun passes through the space.

    Postscript 74: Brynn Catherine McNab on Justine A. Chambers 


  • Semiprecious

    Title: Semiprecious
    Series Title: Beacon – a series in ten issues
    Artist: Justine A. Chambers
    Collages: Natalie Purschwitz
    Series Editor: Bopha Chhay
    Design: Vicky Lum
    Copyeditor: Gina Badger
    Proofreader: Alexandra Bischoff
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printed by: Metropolitan Fine Printers
    Year Published: 2021
    Cover: soft
    Binding: staples
    Dimensions: 15.2 x 22.9 cm
    Edition of 300
    ISBN: 978-1-927630-16-7
    Cost: $12
    Subscription: $100

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    ‘BEACON – a pamphlet series in ten issues’ focuses on how the commitment of artists’ to wider social movements informs contemporary artistic practice. The series will feature texts by artists whose practices engage with language and visual arts.

    Current issues:
    01 – Ruth Buchanan
    02 – Hong-Kai Wang
    03 – Christina Battle
    04 – Justine A. Chambers
    05 – Jared Stanley and
    Sameer Farooq

    06 – Gelare Khoshgozaran
    07 – Lana Lopsei
    08 – Be Oakley
    09 – Bopha Chhay
    10 – Nasrin Himada