Eileen Leier will present Sqlelten7úw’i – Red Salmon – Sockeye: reconsidering the Adams River Run, which looks at local salmon stream ecologies and is comprised of extensive photographic and video documentation of the recurring salmon returns at Roderick Haig-Brown provincial park. Juxtaposed against this powerful narrative, the artist asks the viewer to consider the equally prevalent associated phenomena – that of amassed urban tourist constructs – assembled kiosks, food vendors and souvenir tents. This project, activates a dialogue of particular relevance to the Comox Valley as a hot-bed of aquaculture.
Eileen Leier is an Associate Professor at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. Her visual arts studies began with a B.A. from Simon Fraser University and a B.F.A. in photography from Emily Carr University in Vancouver. She studied at the San Francisco Art Institute in California and completed a Master of Fine Art in Photography at Concordia University in Montréal. Leier has shown photo-based and web art works in solo and group exhibitions in British Columbia, Québec, Ontario and Northern Canada. She has exhibited internationally in the United States, Scotland, France and Brazil. Her work is represented on the site; Fonds Documentaire – sponsored by VOX, Centre de l’image contemporaine in Montréal, Québec.
Nancy Bleck will present new projects woven together with select works from five portfolios, produced over a 20-year span. In a recent body of work, she documented all nations uniting at the Sacred Stone Camp, supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in North Dakota, and the ongoing resistance to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in the Burrard Inlet, Tsleil Waututh territory. Children of Tomorrow, done in collaboration with the Tsiel Waututh Nation, is an exhibition that looks at the practice of sustainability across generations and shared between cultures. She is co-founder of the Uts’am Witness Project done in collaboration with the Squamish Nation that connects wilderness conservation with the First Nations culture, art and social justice. Nancy’s work deeply investigates contemporary concepts of land, water, stewardship, community, health and violence.
Nancy Bleck’s interests in contemporary photography and social practice are informed by feminist philosophy, ecology, and indigenous cultures. Co-founder of the Uts’am Witness Project (1997- 2007), Bleck was adopted by the Squamish Nation with the name ‘Slanay Sp’ak’wus’ in 2001. She is a recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction award in the category of Arts, Culture and Design (2007). A hardcover book titled Picturing Transformation, Newx-ayanstut, showcasing her photography over fifteen years, was released in fall 2013. She holds a BFA, Emily Carr University, (2000), MA in Fine Art, MaHKU, The Netherlands, (2005), and was employed as photo instructor at Emily Carr University for ten years. Nancy has worked in the field of visual arts in cities worldwide including, Toronto, Berlin, Prague, Utrecht, and currently, North Vancouver, BC, on Tsleil-Waututh, unceded Coast Salish lands.