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SUMMONING (NO WORDS) at Oxygen Art Centre

By Contributor
August 20th, 2017

Summoning (No Words), an interactive sound installation built from the female voice, opens August 25th at the Oxygen Art Centre.

The project, conceived and designed by Nicola Harwood, is a sound temple made up of original sung compositions contributed by a seven-member team of award winning Canadian female vocalists and composers. Local singers Allison Girvan and Bessie Wapp are among the singers that have contributed. An interactive experience, as participants move through gallery, their movement will stimulate singing.

According to Harwood,“I wanted to respond to violence against women – specifically violence against Indigenous women in Canada. I also wanted to acknowledge the struggles that women face across the world. To that end, I invited a diverse range of singers from many different identities and musical worlds to contribute their voices.” Other contributors include Tanya Tagaq, Vandana Vishwas, Sandy Scofield, Andrea Menard and Mutya Macatumpag.

Harwood continues, “Collaborating across communities and building relationships with those outside our usual circle is, to me, one of the single most effective ways to create more tolerance in the world.” Collaborative effort in the creation of Summoning (No Words) has included community contributions of spoken poems that will form part of the soundscape as well as community members taking part in a Shibori dyeing process during three days of open studios last weekend.

“Women have done ‘hand work’ such as dyeing and sewing, for generations and this work has traditionally offered plenty of opportunity to chat, visit and be together in community. These making processes are healing and calming” says Harwood.  Another opportunity to join the process will take place this week when community members are invited to join a sewing and singing bee to raise the walls of the temple.  If you can sew a straight line and have a sewing machine, bring it down to Oxygen Art Centre on Thursday August 17th at 7pm and/or Sunday Aug 20th at 10am. Participants will help sew together the dyed panels and raise the temple walls. On Sunday, as part of the sewing bee, project artist Bessie Wapp will lead the group in song. All are welcome to attend.

The installation will be on exhibition at Oxygen Art Centre August 26th to October 3rd.  Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday from 1pm to 5pm.  Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

More information regarding the project can be found at

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