Transits and Returns

September 28, 2019 - February 23, 2020

BC Collective (Cora-Allan Wickliffe and Daniel Twiss) with Louisa Afoa
Hākari as guests, 2019
Niuean hiapo, Lakota ceramics, wooden spoons, beaded napkins, velvet tablecloth, dining table, chairs, chandeliers with cut acrylic shapes, vinyl wallpaper
Courtesy of the Artists
Photo: Maegan Hill-Carroll, Vancouver Art Gallery

Transits and Returns presents the work of 21 Indigenous artists whose practices are both rooted in the specificities of their cultures and routed via their travels. These forces of situatedness and mobility work in synergy and in tension with one another, shaping the multiple ways of understanding and being Indigenous today. Within the exhibition, these dual realities are explored through themes of movement, territory, kinship and representation, with many artworks inhabiting multiple categories. The resulting presentation foregrounds the creative sovereignty of each artist to determine their own articulations of the world, while also exploring the resonances between them.

Featuring artists from local First Nations, as well as those from communities located throughout the Pacific region (ranging from Alutiiq territory in the north to Māori lands in the south, with many mainland and island Nations in between), Transits and Returns traces wide-ranging experiences that are inclusive of both ancestral knowledges and global connections.

Participating artists include Edith Amituanai, Christopher Ando, Natalie Ball, BC Collective with Louisa Afoa, Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick with Nāpali Aluli Souza, Hannah Brontë, Elisa Jane Carmichael, Mariquita Davis, Chantal Fraser, Maureen Gruben, Bracken Hanuse Corlett, Taloi Havini, Lisa Hilli, Carol McGregor, Marianne Nicolson, Ahilapalapa Rands, Debra Sparrow and T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss.

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Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery in collaboration with the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. The exhibition is curated by Tarah Hogue, Senior Curatorial Fellow, Indigenous Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, with Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Freja Carmichael, Léuli Eshraghi and Lana Lopesi.

  • Debra Sparrow
    Chief’s Blanket, 2013
    hand-spun sheep’s wool, wool appliqué, Great Blue Heron feathers, leather
    Gifted to Chief Kim Baird in recognition of her leadership of the Tsawwassen First Nation from 1999 to 2012

  • Taloi Havini
    Habitat, 2018
    four-channel HD 4:3, colour, black & white, 5.1 surround sound
    Courtesy of the Artist
    Photo: Natasha Harth

  • Lisa Hilli
    Sisterhood Lifeline, 2018
    vinyl wall murals, inkjet prints on cotton rag paper, office partitions, iMac, office telephone with vocal recordings, books, Post-It notes, pens, swivel chair
    Courtesy of the Artist
    Photo: Carl Warner

Generously supported by:

Jane Irwin and Ross Hill


Transits & Returns

Co-published by the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane

Softcover, 128 pages

Illustrations: approx. 80 colour reproductions

Editors: Tarah Hogue, Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Freja Carmichael, Léuli Eshrāghi and Lana Lopesi

Contributors: David Garneau, Kimberley Moulton, Kahutoi Mere Te Kanawa and Marianne Nicolson