Homecoming: Art As Path And Portal

Katrina Grabner

September 13–October 11, 2023

Join us in the Dal Schindell Gallery for an opening reception on September 13 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. There will be a guest performance by contemporary dancer Joanna Anderson.

Separate, together, empty, full, undoing, weaving, leaving, coming. We are always flowing. We are always on the path and yet we are always home. Homecoming.

Situated on the stolen, unceded land of the Musqueam Nation, ‘Homecoming’ is a multi-medium meditation of becoming human and what it means to live as intra-beings. Over a decade ago, I dipped a sealed letter into hot wax: an invitation to begin a journey of turning loss, questions, fragments, and loose threads into a different approach to creativity and art making. This grounding process brought me back to my body, heart, and wisdom. I now extend the same love letter to you: an invitation towards healing, wholeness and intra-connection through the death-life-death creation process.

Homecoming experiments with plant dyed silks and cottons embedded between wax either (beeswax and damar tree resin or microcrystalline), miniature clay figures, life sized plaster cast figures, pounded flowers, moss, finger-paints, film, words, dna and morse codes, as well as simple watercolour meditations. Each piece is a conversation with self, environment and ‘other’ and has been co-created through a process involving embodied listening, making, writing, sharing and witnessing.

You are invited to join the conversation. To be. To listen. To feel. To respond. To make. To be woven-in. To feel the edges of yourself as you respond to the edges of mine.

“I’m interested in bringing to light that which is hidden or sealed within.”

Katrina Grabner is a visual artist, art therapist, trauma counsellor, writer and professor residing on the stolen unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh) Nations. Often drawn to creating site specific installation works, Grabner uses mediums such as encaustic (Greek ‘enkaustikos’, meaning to burn-in), ceramics, paint and fiber to explore themes of identity, place, embodiment, myth and collective healing. Grabner holds an MA in Psychotherapy and Spirituality with a specialization in Art Therapy through St Stephen’s College, an affiliate college of the University of Alberta. 

Originally from Treaty 6 Territory, just west of the Rocky Mountains, Grabner locates herself through her German, Scottish, Irish, Mi’kmaq and French ancestors. She founded Open Book Art Collective and has participated in numerous shows at galleries such as Silk Purse Arts Centre, Massy Arts Society, Britannia Art Gallery, Langley Centennial Museum and Exhibition Centre, Seymour Art Gallery and participated in MAWA’s Mentorship foundation program. Through her works, Katrina’s hope is to encourage curiosity, play, wonder, conversation and deeper connection with self and other.