Opening Ceremony and Public Reception: Friday 9 September, 11AM
Informed by Nuu-Chah-Nulth histories, legends and traditional carving techniques, contemporary artist Ha’wilh Way’anis Joshua Watts will be transforming the Victoria Arts Council's main gallery to look like a longhouse as a way of honouring his cultural teachings while commenting on current societal topics.
With funding through the BC Arts Council's IMPACT GRANT, the Victoria Arts Council is commissioning this work for exhibition, along with an artistbook created by Watts with his partner, Kwakwaka'wakw poet and activist Linnea Dick.
A collection of silkscreen prints, wood carvings, and video / installation by Watts will be featured with additional programming taking place in-person and online throughout the exhibition.
Ha’wilh Way’anis Joshua Watts is a Nuuchahnulth, and Coast Salish First Nations professional artist, and Cultural Carrier. He was raised in Squamish away from his ancestral territories of Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan. When he was growing up, he had little connection with his ancestral culture. After reconnecting, he realized the importance of culture and art. Since then, Joshua has dedicated his practice toward youth development and mentorship programs and is a very strong advocate for cultural revitalization amongst Indigenous youth and passing on traditional knowledge. Watts has studied under great artists such as: Ray Natraoro, Wayne Alfred, Corey Bulpitt, and Linda Lindsay, and the late Chief and master carver Beau Dick.