Dana Claxton, Video Tipi, 2013

Opening tonight at the Richmond Cultural Centre is Your Kontinent Festival, an event that brings together art, film, and food in an enlivening cultural experience from July 19th to the 27th. Winsor Gallery's Dana Claxton is one of the festival's two featured artists; for the event, she has constructed an incredible 30 ft tall video tipi. Functioning as a gathering place during the day, the tipi will be lit up by a two-channel video projection by night.

Additionally, on July 20th, festival goers will be invited to collaborate with Claxton in the construction of a large medicine wheel, a symbol of peace and harmony. Claxton's previous work, 'Rattle', will also be exhibited in conjunction with these projects.

Dana Claxton, Rattle, 2003

Tania Willard writes: "In Claxton’s new work, as featured artist for the Your Kontinent: Richmond Int’l Film and Media Arts Festival, she produced a two channel video piece projected inside of a 30 foot tipi. Working with footage of an ancient and sacred site, Writing on Stone, in Southwest Alberta as well as images of Sioux-Lakota bead work from the turn of the century and a shifting audio-scape of electronic music that gradually shifts into a drum song. Working with the cultural icon of a tipi and images of sacred sites Claxton’s exploration is about the sounds of the ancients. In the sweat lodge, the volcanic stones used for the sweat are called grandmothers and grandfathers; it is these grandmothers and grandfathers, the ancient ones who Claxton is calling on in this work. This sense of relating geological forms as our inter-relations, is an assertion of our interconnectedness with the earth, our lands, ancestors and cultures. Claxton’s work draws on these ancient sounds but informs this archival focus with contemporary expressions of Aboriginal people, Aboriginal composer and musician Russell Wallace has created the audio-scape for this work and Sissy Goodhouse sings The Encouragement Song in the work.

We look to the sky, in prayer, in wonder, in curiosity, in hope, Dana’s work uses this starting point, connecting us in order to reveal our nexus, the points at which we are all connected, positing that our collective vision will guide us, if we look to the sky."