Touching Earth Bodies

Touching Earth Bodies offers a dialogue between three bodies of collaborative and individually-produced work by Victoria-based artists Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde and Valerie Salez. The three projects, In Defiance (Delaronde), In the Shadow of our own Dust (Salez), and Touching Earth Bodies (Delaronde and Salez), explore the power of self-representation, rejuvenation, and healing through ceremony and connections to the land. The central focus of the exhibition and the referent for the overall title, Touching Earth Bodies, addresses interrelationships between the human body and the land, while considering the history and ongoing practices of deforestation across Vancouver Island’s rainforest and the resulting environmental and social impact. These works additionally confront issues around representations of women’s bodies and sexuality in art and popular culture within the current social and political climate. In dialogue, the three bodies of work establish the depth within Delaronde and Salez’s collaborative work and provide an opportunity to learn more about the breadth of the individual practices of each artist.

This exhibition developed out of the ongoing dialogue between guest collaborating curator Toby Lawrence and Angela Somerset, curator at Comox Valley Art Gallery, focused on collaborative creative practices. The Touching Earth Bodies series was produced through Delaronde’s appointment as the City of Victoria Indigenous Artist in Residence, 2017 and 2018. In Defiance was originally organized by and presented at the University of Victoria Legacy Art Galleries, October 8, 2016 – January 7, 2017.

please note: this exhibition contains nudity (bodies in their natural state).

Touching Earth Bodies (Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde and Valerie Salez, 2017-ongoing) is an ongoing collaboration that seeks to engage the body and the land, in a process of healing through ceremony, mindfulness practices, and dialogue.

In Defiance (Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde, 2016) is a series of powerful and self-determined portraits that dismantle stereotypes used in relation to Indigenous women.

In the Shadow of our own Dust (Valerie Salez, 2012) draws on the basics of death and rebirth and plays with perceptions of dark/light and life/death, where the end of something signals the beginning of something else.


In May the artists and guest curator are participating in CVAG’s Creative Residency – 2018 Program. The McLoughlin Gardens Society is our community partner for the Residency Program. 



This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.


As the artists and guest curator, we would like to express our gratitude and acknowledge that we are located on unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.

We would like to acknowledge all of the women that participated in In Defiance and Touching Earth Bodies, and the T’Sou-ke and Pacheedaht First Nations on whose land the work was created. This exhibition is dedicated to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, and the land, that have experienced trauma, loss, and grief in hope that this can be a platform for dialogue and healing for all.

– Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde, Valerie Salez, Toby Lawrence


CVAG gratefully acknowledges the support of Canada Council for the Arts Engage and Sustain program + New Chapter program, Bc Arts Council, Government of Canada, Province of BC, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Comox Valley Regional District, BC Gaming, City of Victoria, University of Victoria Legacy Art Gallery, McLoughlin Gardens Society, Sure Copy, SD71 Printshop, and Hitec Printing.