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Vancouver Art Gallerys Artist Edition Program Gives Visitors Chance to Take Home Original Work by Exhibiting Artists

VANCOUVER.- Vancouver Art Gallery visitors can now take home an original artwork by multi-media artist Marianne Nicolson whose site specific light installation, The House of the Ghosts, currently emblazons the Gallery’s Georgia Street Façade. The Dzawada’enuxw artist has created a limited edition screenprint of a central element of her glowing installation for sale in the Gallery’s Artist Editions program – a program that makes limited edition artworks by internationally renowned exhibiting artists available to the general public for purchase. Nicolson’s work will be available in the Gallery Store in time for the holiday giving season, with all proceeds going to support Gallery programs.

For the work, Sisi’utl Crossbeam, Nicolson extracted one of the stylized Spirit figures from, The House of the Ghosts, her landmark light installation to create a two-colour screenprint. Using compositional techniques based in the formline tradition of Northwest Coast First Nations, Nicolson has produced a highly expressive rendering of a Sisi’utl figure – a Kwakwaka’wakw Spirit represented by a double-headed serpent with an anthropomorphic head at its centre. In both Kwakwaka’wakw and English, an elegantly embossed text stretches across the three-foot work reading, “Come, Ghosts! You, were night is day and whose day is night, in this Great House.”

For her The House of the Ghosts, installation the artist transforms the Gallery’s Georgia Street architecture into a spectacular re-imagining of a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial house using theatrical lighting techniques. Glowing with increased intensity as day gives way to night, the more than 30-foot-wide site-specific projection opened on Saturday, October 4, 2008 and will remain on display until January 11, 2009. This powerful work strongly references the traditional Kwakwaka’wakw belief in a balance that underlies nature. While it is believed that Spirits are continuously present, they are only thought to be accessible to humans at night. This belief is made eloquently visible in Nicolson’s installation, as the projected light of the work is present on the building’s façade before the sun sets and only becomes visible in its full form after nightfall.

Marianne Nicolson was born in 1969 and is a member of the Dzawada’enuxw Tribe of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations of Kingcome Inlet, British Columbia. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, a MFA from the University of Victoria and a MA in Linguistics and Anthropology from the University of Victoria where she is currently completing her PhD. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally at venues including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Artspeak, the National Gallery of Canada and Taipei Fine Arts Museum. She has also created a number of site-specific artworks for public spaces and has created several public artworks including an upcoming project at North Vancouver City Library and new Civic Plaza.

The Vancouver Art Galley’s Artist Editions program also includes sculptural works by Lisbon-based German artist Gabriela Albergaria, whose work was featured in the 2007 exhibition The Tree: From the Sublime to the Social, photographs by Japanese artist Kyohei Sakaguchi, who was featured in the 2006 exhibition NEXT: Kyohei Sakaguchi: Zero Yen House, and photographs by Vancouver-based artist Rodney Graham, whose work was featured in the Gallery’s 2005 exhibition Rodney Graham: A Little Thought. A limited edition sculptural work by Austrian artist Franz West has sold out.

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