Bringing my latest exhibition Being Home from Vancouver Island to the Okanagan, had me asking questions of how we honour the ways land nurtures us and how we can render visible the work of motherhood in all its forms . In order to activate the site of my new exhibition and to bring my work out of the gallery, I created a public offering before the opening of the show:
CRADLE, TABLE, FEAST: A participatory art & food event by visiting artist Farheen HaQ honouring place, nourishment, and home. Activating the extended tablecloth used in her performative video installations on show at the Alternator, Farheen invites the community to gather around her dastarkhan - a long tablecloth placed on the ground in South Asia to share in gratitude and feasting. All are welcome to bring an offering to this great spread and to join in reflecting on the ways we are all nourished by the maternal bodies around us - mothers, grandmothers, the land, this place.
A gathering clustered around the tablecloth, sipping chai, various children created a mandala from materials by nearby Knox Mountain where I had taken my children to hike earlier that morning. Acknowledging the land and the Syilx territory I was visiting, I invited people to join me in laying down on the tablecloth, guiding the group in a meditative reflection on the ways our bodies are nourished, our connection to maternal energies and our foremothers through the rise and fall of our bellies, and our bodies as expressions of the land living through us. The tablecloth was spread with laying bodies, changing our orientation and our habitual way of coming into contact with the outdoor surroundings.
** Many thanks to the Alternator staff for their support and to Crystal at ChaiBaba tea for the chai.