Submitted to the Castlegar News
For those of us who live along the Columbia River, we are very aware of its power and significance.
Rich with history, this river has provided sustenance and a way of life for those who settled along its banks. Yet with the passing of time the inevitable industrialization has occurred with large sections of the river being dammed for hydroelectric power controlling the rise and fall of the water levels.
The next exhibition opening on June 19 at the Kootenay Gallery of Art is a powerful installation entitled Waterline by First Nations artist Marianne Nicolson of Victoria that references the effects of this rise and fall on the many pictographs once created close to the river’s edge.
A glass bentwood box etched with pictographs is placed in the centre of the darkened gallery. A light suspended from the ceiling moves up and down within the box.
As the light moves, the shadows of the images move across the floor and finally up the walls and down again. The pictographs are revealed and then lost as would naturally occur when the water levels in the river rise and fall. This simple premise reveals a powerful message.
Marianne Nicolson is a highly acclaimed artist whose work has been exhibited nationally as well as internationally. Her recent installation of a large scale light project in the Vancouver International Airport again references the historic significance of our river systems to the community of First Nations.
The opening reception for this exhibition, sponsored by Columbia Power Corporation, will be held on Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m. Curator Arin Fay will be in attendance.
This exhibition will run until Aug. 1. The gallery is located across from the Castlegar Airport adjacent to the Doukhobor Discovery Centre on Heritage Way and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 to 5 p.m. For more information visit kootenaygallery.com.