Working between Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo and Gabriola Island) and Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ (Victoria and Saanich) territories in British Columbia, Toby Lawrence has been working as a curator, writer, and researcher for the past decade. Her work centres collaborative, decolonial, and intersectional feminist methodologies, and her current curatorial research is focused on reimagined models of curation that challenge racialized, gendered, economic, and environmental inequalities. Toby has held curatorial and programming positions with the Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Nanaimo Art Gallery, and Kelowna Art Gallery. She was a contributing curator of the Contingencies of Care Virtual Residency hosted by OCAD U, Toronto Biennial of Art, and BUSH Gallery, a curatorial resident at the Otis College of Art & Design Emerging Curators Retreat in Los Angeles, and has been working with Open Space throughout 2020-21 as curator of special projects. Toby is also a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship and a BC Arts Council Scholarship.

toby lawrence

Lindsay Harris is a community-based researcher living in Kamloops, British Columbia on the traditional, unceded territory of the Secwepemc people. Her current work focuses on food systems, agricultural development, rural and small city resilience, and grassroots community decision-making. She is a board director of the Kamloops Food Policy Council, and in this role has co-conceptualized several projects and initiatives that have driven successful collaboration across sectors in the food system.

lindsay harris

Krista has focused much of her attention over the last 20 years on grassroots food justice and security through permaculture and sustainability praxis and education via the Tierra Soul Urban Farm and the Lazy-Lady Living permaculture educational program. During this time she has also been involved in community arts and collaborative media publishing through the work of La Palabra Café-Press as well as the restoration of Indigenous birth and mothering practices through her training in traditional midwifery and The Indígena Project, a four day residency for Indigenous girls, women and mothers. Her commitment to interdisciplinary research ceremony is rooted in the deep intersection of arts-based and Indigenous methodologies and epistemologies, social justice, poetic imagination, creative praxis, phenomenology, depth and liberation psychologies. Her current research centers on the re-indigenization and rematriation of Indigenous birth and mothering practices through community land-based performative ceremonial activism.

Krista arias

The hosts:

November 1, 2019 | La Palabra Café-Press, Portland, Oregon + The Xchange, Kamloops, BC 

July 23, 2019 | University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC

September 2, 2018 | Private Residence, Gabriola Island, BC (Postponed)

August 8, 2018 | Peterson Creek Community Garden, Kamloops, BC

May 20, 2018 | University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC

We, your hosts, have been working with this installation in various iterations since Spring of 2017:

We open ourselves to seeing-through the troubled state of relational hospitality under spectres of displacement by invoking the reciprocity inherent in the P'urhépecha Juriatikua Uariri (Day of the Dead) ceremony, community relationships, and the Activist Potluck to offer intimate gestures of hospitality across boundaries of guest-host relations (invited/uninvited; living/dead; natural/cultural; embodied/parasitic; inscribed/ fluid). We consider how “offering ourselves up on the menu” may generate more palatable and collaboratively productive guest-host relations.

“Potluck” ceremony participants are invited to share food with the living and the dead while considering their own travels onto and off-of home-place territories whether on land or across bodies or pages. In our exploration of actions that trouble and counteract displacement through our unique positions as uninvited guests on colonized territories, our goal is to create an open, well-composted space of regeneration, negotiation, connection and engagement—for bringing our hearts and minds together as one with each other and with the geographies that claim us all as we ceremonially offer and imbibe food, drink, smoke and ink.

The evening centers a potluck feast, projected film installations, guerrilla printing, and various participatory activities attending to the concept of “offering ourselves up on the menu.”

In the blurring of boundaries between guests and hosts, we ask our guests for reciprocity and to attentively consider what they will bring to put on the menu—symbolic or object.

Co-curated and co-hosted by Krista Arias, Lindsay Harris and Toby Lawrence

various locations, canada and usa

Bread flesh & ink