Come to the Okanagan Heritage Museum and explore aboriginal ancestral connections to the land through cultural and contemporary media.
The Kelowna Museums, in collaboration with Westbank First Nation, is proud to present Iʔ təmxʷulaʔxʷ iʔ txət̓ncutntət – The Land is Our Culture; an exhibition celebrating the syilxʷ/Okanagan people and their interminable and vital connection to the land. Indeed, as the title states, the land is their culture.
Featured in this exhibition are the provocative artworks of Barb Marchand and Janine Lott, sylixʷ artists who express their personal and ancestral connections to the land through cultural and contemporary media and techniques.
Both artists discourage stereotypes that exclude their place in the context of modern or post modern approaches to art making. As Aboriginal women, they believe in a merging of the past, present and future, defined by ancient oral teachings called chaptikʷəɬ, stories and dreams. Inherent knowledge that transcends time is a common principle associated with Aboriginal worldview. “It’s in our DNA,” is a phrase coined by WFN female Elder/teacher and fluent language speaker, Delphine Derickson, which epitomizes this concept.
This collaboration between the Kelowna Museums Society and Westbank First Nation is a first for the two organizations. “Westbank First Nation has had a long and positive relationship with the Kelowna Museums, and this exhibition is a reflection of that relationship,” says Gayle Liman, Heritage Officer and Curator for the Westbank First Nation. “The visual and written stories in this exhibition represent the authentic voice of the syilxʷ people, and the Kelowna Museums Society is to be commended for encouraging a collaboration in which that voice is predominant. WFN is grateful to all the Museums staff for their hard work and encouragement.”
Complementing the body of work created by the artists are accompanying artefacts from the Kelowna Museums collections, these bridge the current works to their ancestral roots. This marriage of ancient and contemporary blurs the common Euro Canadian perception of past and present, offering a more circular and unending worldview of ‘oneness.’
The public opening of the exhibit will take place at the Okanagan Heritage Museum, located at 470 Queensway Avenue, on September 22nd, 2012 at 11:00 am. The artists will be available from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm for an informal tour of the exhibit and to speak about their work, process and inspiration.
Iʔ təmxʷulaʔxʷ iʔ txət̓ncutntət – The Land is Our Culture will be featured until April 6th, 2013.