Krista Belle Stewart, Eye Eye (detail), 2018. Douglas Lake earth (unformed and formed), bucket. Image courtesy the artist.

Eye Eye



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Galleries, Museums

Krista Belle Stewart's site-specific installation Eye Eye takes the artist's land in Douglas Lake, BC (Spaxomin) as a foundation. Responsive to its institutional context, Stewart brings her home territory to occupy the Teck Gallery. Eye Eye references an Okanagan phrase uttered to demonstrate one is present, and by way of attention the work uses the land as referent, material and concept in the form of earth made into tiles and installed on the gallery walls in a grid.

The land is seen by the artist as the oldest archive: traces of culture are inherent to the material. Stewart's strategies expose the tensions between personal and institutional narratives that are imposed on Indigenous bodies and their relationship to land, the way that the land services colonial systems and the way it can resist those systems. Stewart's work infiltrates the university, an institution that instructs cultural interpretation, and offers a different kind of knowledge of the land and the teachings of Douglas Lake to SFU and Vancouver. The artist will be continually making new tiles for the walls over the course of the project.

Stewart's work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Mercer Union, Toronto; and group exhibitions at Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montreal; Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver; Vancouver Art Gallery; Artspeak, Vancouver; Western Front, Vancouver; and Esker Foundation, Calgary. Stewart holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College in New York. She is a member of the Upper Nicola Band of the Okanagan Nation, and lives and works in Vancouver.

Curated by Melanie O'Brian.

Supported by Canada Council for the Arts.