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Tanya Pixie Johnson opens “Sense of Direction” at Oxygen

By Contributor
January 27th, 2012

Winlaw visual artist, Tanya Pixie Johnson, is artist in residence at Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson for the month of January and early February.

Her exhibition, “Sense of Direction” will take place Feb 4-11 from 1-5 p.m.. The public is welcome to attend the opening reception, Friday Feb 3rd at 7 p.m. Johnson will also offer an Artist talk, Tuesday February 7th at 7 p.m.

Johnson will be using her time in the centre to create new work while moving through a self-created art ceremony.

She will explore the notion of time, its capacity to move sideways, its elasticity. 

Johnson will be drawing on her experiences of indigenous ceremonial ways, those in which she has participated in North America, especially in this Sinixt territory, and in her native South Africa.

The work will be informed by her familial relationship with the headman and spiritual leader of the Sinixt nation, Bob Campbell. It is with his blessing and request that she include certain information and ancestral knowledge shared by him, in her process of art making.

Her inspiration is drawn from this landscape, this tum-ula?x (territory).
Her intention is not to represent or depict these ideas or experiences, but to make art as offering.

Johnson will be interpreting the four directions and the centre point that is suspended on the axis between them. She will be attempting to harness presence.

Johnson, originally from South Africa, received her honours in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town. She finds inspiration in living close to the land and forming bridges with indigenous people, ways, ceremony and history.

This identity is juxtaposed with her perception of herself as a “scatterling”, and the experience of growing up as an urban white girl in a segregated society

Johnson’s residency and exhibition are made possible with the generous support of the B.C. Arts Council, the City of Nelson and the RDCK, Areas E, F and H.

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