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generational retrospective

February 07, 2020 – March 20, 2020

A Generational Retrospective

Artist Sandra Semchuk

Inquiry What are generations?

Image: Sandra Semchuk
Co-operative self-portrait, hand play, Rowenna and I, RR6, Saskatoon,Saskatchewan
Silver gelatin print

This exhibition closed early due to the beginning of Covid-19.

A Generational Retrospective

In A Generational Retrospective, Ukrainian-Canadian artist Sandra Semchuk shares stories that look beyond her own perspective and her own lifetime. The exhibition includes work made across almost fifty years of practice including early co-operative photographs made with her father, Martin Semchuk and her daughter, Rowenna Losin, and collaborations with her late husband, Rock Cree actor, orator and artist, James Nicholas, and with singer/composer, Jerry DesVoignes. The exhibition also includes recent video portraits dedicated to future generations that are made in collaboration with Vancouver Island-based Cree, Tsimshian, Gitksan, and Métis artist Skeena Reece. Also featured are photo and video installations that consider generations in relation to the ocean and the forest.Sandra Semchuk has exhibited widely across Canada and internationally, and her works reside in the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, and many others. She was a co-founder of the Photographers Gallery in Saskatoon, and was Associate Professor at Emily Carr University in Vancouver from 1987 until her recent retirement. In 2018 she was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.A Generational Retrospective brings together works from Semchuk’s lifelong dialogue across ages and cultures, and is the final show in a year in which Nanaimo Art Gallery asks the question “What are generations?”

aying apart we are enacting practices of care. It is this relationship between gathering and care that is the core of this exhibition.

Small Gatherings brings together three artworks from the Nanaimo Art Gallery collection with works by three local artists. Through painting, cedar weaving, drawing, video, and sculpture, the works in the exhibition embody different approaches to gathering that are initiated in the process of making, and continue to speak through new gatherings with visitors in the gallery.

Small Gatherings is not only the first exhibition at the galley since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, but it is also the first exhibition in our 2020/2021 inquiry What moves?



Nanaimo Art Gallery is situated in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of Snuneymuxw First Nations, and we are grateful to operate on Snuneymuxw territory.