In the Spirit of N'ha-a-itk
Kelowna Art Gallery
Kelowna BC thru Aug 14, 2005
Spirit of Nha-a-itk (2005), installation, mixed media [Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna BC, through Aug 4]
In the Spirit of N'ha-a-itk represents a first-time collaboration between the Kelowna Art Gallery and the Okanagan/Westbank First Nation. The exhibition of works about Nha-a-itk or Spirit Lake Serpent, more popularly known in the region as Ogopogo, showcases the work of contemporary aboriginal artists, as well as, regional school children under the curation of artist Gayle Liman.
As Liman describes it: Through their oral traditions, the Okanagan First Nation people have always respected and honoured the spirit of Nha-a-itk. The name itself invokes a reverence and sacredness which dates back thousands of years. Never to be feared, never to be ridiculed or trivialized, Nha-a-itk remains a powerful and strong symbol of a proud and determined people: a people who have survived and prospered through ingenuity expressed in their culture and belief system. Nha-a-itk then becomes a treasure for us all, passed down through thousands of years of Okanagan oral tradition.
Through this exhibition, the Kelowna Art Gallery acknowledges the significant gifts and cultural influences of the Okanagan people. In the Spirit of Nha-a-itk gives voice to several Okanagan Nation artists. Barb Marchand, Roxanne Lindley, Janine Lott, Frank Falkus, Chad Paul and Sherry Hamilton have created site-specific works with narrative statements focusing on Nha-a-itk (Spirit Lake Serpent). These works are complemented with art from elders, students and the children of Sensisyusten First Nation School. They comprise a diverse range of media and express the visions, dreams and oral traditions of the artists involved.