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.