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MOTHLIKE/silvery-blue
a site-specific communal performance
for (hwlhits'um) Brunswick Point

Ladner: September 24, 2022

Sunrise: 7:01 am
Sunset: 7:05 pm
Solar noon: 1:04 pm
Moonrise: 5:23 am
Moonset: 7:04 pm
Twilight ends: 8:54

Dispersed elements of score: September 10 - 24th
Congregated elements: September 24, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

"Mukw’ stem ‘I’ utunu tumuhw ‘o’ slhiilhukw’tul" - Everything on this earth is interconnected

The communal performance “MOTHLIKE/silvery-blue” stems from ongoing research in the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) of hwlhits'um (Brunswick Point in Ladner), an area of critical ecological importance for migratory birds within the Fraser River Estuary, in the ancestral and present-day lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the Hul’qumi’num Mustimuhw (Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group of Seven Coast Salish Nations), Tsawwassen, and Musqueam.

MOTH-LIKE/silvery-blue tells a story of human/more-than-human transformation; Silvery Blue is a person, a butterfly (a ghost), the shimmering colour of the land.

This site-specific durational work animates artworks in the story cycle, as a choir from the BC Choral Federation, volunteers, and artist participants follow an experimental score, performing roles in dance, sound, walking, and reading at the sites over a two-week period. Visitors to the sites and attendees will encounter what is a delicate piece in both diffused and congregated elements. The performance culminates at sunset on September 24th, with a procession from 5 - 7 pm. Omar Zubair (composer, NYC), Jody Sperling (dancer/choreographer, NYC), Rachel Harris (dancer, Montréal), and Brigid Coult (choir director, Richmond Chorus) come together in community with the wild kin of the marshland for this participatory event.

This project is in participation and consultation with Birds Canada, and the Hwlitsum First Nation, and is funded by Canada Council for the Arts, KPU, and Richmond Art Gallery, and is in partnership with Birds Canada. This project comes at a poignant moment in Canada’s ecological history, when the Federal Government will soon decide whether to allow the construction of a proposed second shipping port in Roberts Bank, inside the estuary KBA and directly adjacent to Brunswick Point.

Research:

This is part of a long-term project with Richmond Art Gallery (RAG) and Amy-Claire Huestis. Leading up to collaborative performances and a solo exhibition at the gallery, Huestis has partnered on public programs and on-site events that cultivate dialogue among anthropologists, artists, scientists, and experts at Birds Canada who manage these KBAs. As artist-in-residence at RAG, this has included K-12 projects in Richmond Public Schools and partnership with Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), as well as the cultivation of new relationships with Indigenous peoples, including the Hwlitsum First Nation of Canoe Pass at Brunswick Point.

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We humbly acknowledge this project takes place on the ancestral and present-day lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the Hul’qumi’num Mustimuhw (Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group of seven Coast Salish Nations), Tsawwassen, and Musqueam. This project is in participation and consultation with the Hwlitsum First Nation, and works to build ties with all whose lands it touches.