“In Spring 2022 I began a process of making dynamic mono-prints by coating my hair in natural pigments of blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry and transferring them to archival paper. My hair fell, moved across, and was pressed into the paper following my body. Inspired in part by David Hammons’ Body Prints and Awilda Sterling-Duprey’s dance-drawings, these works register movement. In my thinking, Hair Prints cite nacaq, fully beaded Alutiiq/Sugpiaq women’s headdresses, and miksastotin, beaded Omaskeko or Eeyouch womens’ hoods. My relationship with these women’s garments include visits with them in museum collections, visits with knowledge holders and makers, and making performances and other works in relation to them. Berries, our plant relatives, are significant for my family, our extended relatives, and communities elsewhere on Turtle Island. Their interactions with hair continue to unfold forms and meaning” (Tanya Lukin Linklater, 2023).
During her onsite residency, April 18-29, 2023, Tanya will make a new set of prints for her Open Space exhibition, Hair Prints, and undertake a series of Open Rehearsals, expanding on the embodied process that she and dance artist Ivanie Aubin-Malo began in Vancouver in 2022 in response to the initial hair prints. The inspiration and points of reference clearly signal relationships to the body, the land, and in learning as central to this work. For Tanya, the significance of Indigenous women's relationships to plant medicines has also introduced an approach that looks to the seasons to determine materials and methods. For Hair Prints this means Tanya will now only work with berries to produce prints in the Spring and Summer.
Returning to the body, preparing together. This is enacted through breath and bodywork shared by project contributors. By undertaking this work in this way, alongside visits with the land, we are redetermining the parameters of what is required to do this kind of work and opening up necessary space for building long-term relationships through modes that are specifically relevant to the project itself.
Expanding the process and dialogue around Hair Prints, Tanya invited artists Camille Georgeson-Usher, Duane Linklater, and Jennifer Van de Pol and curator Toby Lawrence to participate as respondents. Alongside Ivanie Aubin-Malo and Mina Linklater, the group spent time in shared preparatory activities throughout Tanya’s residency. Responses will be gradually installed in the gallery, as they are completed.
Tanya Lukin Linklater, Hair Prints Open Rehearsals with Ivanie Aubin-Malo, 2023. Courtesy of Open Space, Victoria, BC. Photo: Toby Lawrence.