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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Open from Tuesday to
Sunday 12 pm → 6 pm

Admission always free
17 Sep 21until2 Jan 22

Charlene Vickers

Ancestor Gesture

B.C. Binning Gallery, CAG Façade and offsite at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station

A detail view of a watercolour painting by Charlene Vickers, a geometrically rendered zigzag pattern rendered in a vibrant palette of ochres, golds, greens and blues.

Charlene Vickers, Accumulations of Moments Spent Underwater with the Sun and Moon (detail), 2015-2016. Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Encompassing a wide range of media — including painting, sculpture, performance and installation — the practice of Charlene Vickers operates as a visionary expression of what the artist terms embodied territory. Giving vital form to the lands, histories and relations of her birthplace in Wauzhushk Onigum as they are felt, imagined and carried across distance, Vickers’ works lucidly manifest ancestral connections, cultural reclamations and her territorial presence as Anishinaabe Kwe, while responding formally to the Coast Salish land she has resided upon for the past thirty years.

In Ancestor Gesture, Vickers brings together a selection of new and recent works covering more than ten years of output. From rhythmic abstractions inspired by the quillwork embroidery of her forebears, to a monumental cedar bone bead rendered as a teaching, to a suite of shimmering line drawings that index energy, spirit and breath, the exhibition highlights Vickers’ engagement with a broad spectrum of concerns, spanning meditations on power, protection, kinship, and healing. Presented together for the first time, the works on view reflect the intimacy and insistence of Vickers’ practice, speaking expansively across time, territory and tradition.

Work at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station is installed from September 17, 2021 to March 20, 2022. It is presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program, InTransit BC.


Charlene Vickers is an Anishinaabe artist based in Vancouver. Her painting, sculpture and performance works explore memory, healing and embodied connections to ancestral lands. She is the recipient of the 2018 VIVA Award. Recent exhibitions include a co-presentation with Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Lets’lo:tseltun, Macaulay & Co. Fine Art (2021); Rain Shadow, Nanaimo Art Gallery (2021); Where Do We Go From Here?, Vancouver Art Gallery (2020); Biennale nationale de sculpture Contemporaine, Quebec (2020); An Assembly of Shapes, Oakville Galleries (2018); Speaking with Hands and Territories, SFU Galleries (2018); and Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures, Vancouver Art Gallery (2016). International group exhibitions include the map is not the territory, Portland Art Museum (2019); Connective Tissue: New Approaches in Contemporary Fibre Art, MoCNA, Santa Fe (2017); From The Belly of The Beast, Grace Gallery, Brooklyn (2017); and If We Never Met, Pataka Art Museum, Porirua, New Zealand (2016). Vickers graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1994) and Simon Fraser University (Critical Studies of the Arts, 1998; MFA, 2013).

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