Bill Reid Gallery Presents BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest

Comments 19 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, celebrating its 10th anniversary, announces the leading-edge exhibition BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest, running June 8, 2018 until January 13, 2019.

Until the 1885 potlatch ban, tattooing and piercing were integral to Northwest Indigenous cultures as a way to mark identity and social status. This premiere exhibition, led by guest curator Dion Kaszas (Nlaka’pamux, Hungarian, Métis), traces the history and meaning of traditional tattooing and piercing practices, and explores their contemporary revival.

BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest by Aaron Leonen
BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest by
Aaron Leonen

BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest

Where: Bill Reid Gallery (639 Hornby St, Vancouver)
When: June 8, 2018 – January 13, 2019

BODY LANGUAGE features five Northwest Indigenous cultural tattoo practitioners: Nakkita Trimble (Nisga’a), Nahaan (Tlingit), Corey Bulpitt (Haida), Dean Hunt (Heiltsuk), and guest curator Dion Kaszas (Nlaka’pamux). Each of these contemporary artists is researching and reclaiming the traditional techniques of their Nations, and building awareness of the significance and protocols around the tattooing traditions.

For millennia, Indigenous tattooing and piercing have been central to ceremony and recognize special life events, potlatches, and social rank within Northwest Indigenous communities. After they were banned, these personal crests were transferred to clothing and jewellery.

BODY LANGUAGE explores designs on skin, and their relationship to traditional clothing, rock art, jewellery, basketry, and weaving. This exhibition will also reveal how these traditions, as they re-emerge, transcend mere decoration to provide healing, protection, and a profound sense of belonging.

The contemporary artists represented in BODY LANGUAGE are at the forefront of the revival of Indigenous tattooing in British Columbia. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to learn the significance of and protocol around tattooing traditions, and explore the rich history and artistry of Indigenous tattooing, piercing and personal adornment on the Northwest coast.

To complement the exhibition, the Bill Reid Gallery is pleased to offer the following public programs:

Stitching Ourselves Back Together Symposium
Friday, June 8, 2018 9:30am to 4:00pm
Join us for a full day symposium exploring the history, revival and contemporary concerns around cultural tattooing. Registration required. Lunch included.

Live Tattooing in the Gallery
Saturday, June 9, 2018 11:00am to 4:00pm
Artists from the exhibition will demonstrate their techniques and chat about their process.

Enter to Win Tickets

I have a pair of tickets to give away so you can enjoy this exhibition. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post an entry on Twitter

[clickToTweet tweet=”RT to enter to win tickets to @billreidgallery presents BODY LANGUAGE: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest” quote=” Click to enter via Twitter” theme=”style6″]

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. The passes will be available for one-time use during the month of June.

Follow the Bill Reid Galley on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more info.

Update The winner is David!

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19 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Lelainia LloydThursday, May 24th, 2018 — 6:52pm PDT

    Would love to go & take my son with me. We are both tattooed and I think we’d really enjoy this learning opportunity.

    Tweeting as well under @tatterededge .

  2. WesThursday, May 24th, 2018 — 8:14pm PDT

    This would be cool to check out!

  3. Amy PezzenteThursday, May 24th, 2018 — 8:23pm PDT

    Cool! Done and done

  4. RayThursday, May 24th, 2018 — 9:52pm PDT

    Would really like to see this exhibit

  5. Marisa. PThursday, May 24th, 2018 — 11:18pm PDT

    This looks amazing.

  6. Tabby72Friday, May 25th, 2018 — 6:19am PDT

    I’d love to visit this gallery and see the exhibition. Thanks!

  7. JocelynFriday, May 25th, 2018 — 8:13am PDT

    This looks like a fascinating exhibit.

  8. Pat CummingFriday, May 25th, 2018 — 8:38am PDT

    Fascinating exhibit!

  9. Jason BFriday, May 25th, 2018 — 10:31am PDT

    Great Bday present.

  10. KellyFriday, May 25th, 2018 — 10:38am PDT

    Would love to go see this!

  11. David NguFriday, May 25th, 2018 — 1:52pm PDT

    has it reopened yet?! will go win or lose!

  12. AnnSaturday, May 26th, 2018 — 9:23am PDT

    Very cool!

  13. FilioSaturday, May 26th, 2018 — 12:58pm PDT

    I’m intrigued and would be honoured to see this exhibition.

  14. Christine UchidaSaturday, May 26th, 2018 — 1:54pm PDT

    I would love to take my sister to this!

  15. JazzySaturday, May 26th, 2018 — 3:04pm PDT

    I would take my friend with me who loves tattoos!

  16. Grace YanSunday, May 27th, 2018 — 1:53am PDT

    Saw the tattoo exhibit out at MOA a few years back. Love to check this one out, too!

  17. Andrea GilesTuesday, May 29th, 2018 — 10:40am PDT

    I love Bill Reid’s work 🙂

  18. EileenTuesday, May 29th, 2018 — 12:51pm PDT

    Sounds interesting

  19. louis luzukaWednesday, May 30th, 2018 — 11:24am PDT

    this would be an incredible vlog for my channel

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