Lobby Art Gallery
January 8 – February 27
Nikki Manzie — The Land Dreams in Ceremonies: Reparation
Open House & Meet the Artist on January 27th, 1:30-3:30 pm.
Relational land-based ceremonial-craft exhibit.
As Ukrainian diaspora, as uninvited settler-occupier, and as someone in relationship with land, explore through my eyes and experiences…
Then turn to yourself – what is your own:
Relationship to land
To your ancestral blood and bone memory
To the spirits and inhabitants of the land
And to each other?
13 moons ₪ 13 ceremonies ₪ 13 locations ₪ 13 groupings of Ukrainian sacred folk-crafts
Participate in a final ceremony and add your own intentions and good heart.
There is a meeting place: Mati Zemlya ~ Mother Earth. We are all born of the earth, within Nature, part of the land (waters, sky…). The land, the Mother, is a living entity. She breathes. She dreams. She remembers. Like blood and bone memory stored within you, the land also stores memories – traces or “footprints” of your time spent here, on shared lands. We co-influence one another through the land, in helpful and not-so-helpful ways. Where there is trauma held in the history of the land, it affects us all. And it is the responsibility of each person to do their part to support its healing.
So that’s where I began. Taking care of my own messes. My own unconsciousness. Retracing the steps of all the places I have lived and worked on Vancouver Island. Campsite clean-up.
Through Ukrainian folk-knowledge and -crafts, along with ceremonies timed by the old calendar (moon cycles – misyats’), I explore the intersection of “tradition” with “direct relationship” with the land, and what it means to root ancestral knowledge in a “good way” in territories where I am an uninvited guest. My methodology includes: deep listening; reading the symbols and signs; dreams; research; relationship-building; mentorship and apprenticeship.
This exhibit documents my experiences, the resulting crafts, and the progression of personal land reparation ceremonies. And it asks audiences to engage in the questions and material for themselves.
I do not have answers. My path is not the “right path”, nor the “only path.” It is simply a path that I have walked. You will find your own. And together, perhaps, over time, we might discover a way to dream this land together – or let it dream us.
I have practiced art and crafts for over 40 years. I have worked as a therapist and teacher of earth-based spirituality and medicine for 30 years. The two disciplines combine as I explore and integrate the crafts and folk healing traditions of my Ukrainian grandparents.
The transdisciplinary nature of traditional handcrafts combines knowledge of life- and seasonal-rites, herbs, folk healing, “magical” traditions, and earth-based practices along with technical skill of the craft. As a relational maker, I bring this knowledge and crafting into the current focus of my work: “How do Ukrainian Canadians (settlers) root their sacred knowledge and traditions in a land where they are guests?” Through my work I seek to stimulate inquiry in self and others about “right relationship” to land, community, and peoples.
The pieces I craft are relational to the individual or community they are made for; to the lands I, as a guest, live and walk upon; to the spirits, ancestors, traditions, and materials I work with. Each piece is crafted in ceremony, with prayers and intentions for the support, empowerment, and well-being of that which it is created for. Materials are specifically chosen to express and enhance these prayers and intentions.
About the Lobby Art Gallery
The Lobby Art Gallery is located on the 3rd floor in the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre lobby and is open for public viewing one hour prior to show times without a ticket. Private viewings can be arranged by emailing Laura Stephenson at [email protected].
Are you a local artist or artistic group looking to showcase your work?
Renting the Lobby Art Gallery is free to artists. The CPAC takes a commission on any sales made during the exhibition. Send a brief bio and 2–3 art samples and / or a website link to Laura Stephenson at [email protected]. Please note the exhibition space accommodates upwards of 40 pieces of various size.