Artist takes Langley beyond barriers

Fort Gallery showcases the work of Vancouver’s Jenny Hawkinson in new exhibition

Fort Gallery welcomes the work of Jenny Hawkinson, a Vancouver artist bringing texts and textiles to Langley through their new exhibition, Beyond Barrier.

“We actually both went to Trinity Western University and studied art together,” said Alysha Creighton, chair of exhibitions at Fort Gallery.

“It’s like a return,” Hawkinson said. “I went to school here and actually had a show when I was a student 10 years ago at the gallery.”

Hawkinson gathers different texts from her Downtown Eastside neighborhood in Vancouver. Graffiti and words found on walls are then embroidered onto handkerchiefs.

“I collect words from monuments, tombstones, old churches, graffiti and manhole covers that I come across in my walking. These words are translated to paper through graphite rubbing, or embroidered onto linen napkins,” Hawkinson said.

The artist also spent three residencies in Belfast, Ireland where political history and a background of lace-making inspired her to explore the relevancy of border walls.

“The common denominator for these works is an interest in public/private space, walls and fences that provide privacy and shelter but also isolation and segregation, and how language can be divisive or healing,” Hawkinson added.

Read more: Fort Gallery juried photo show features 19 artists

“Questions she is asking about barriers and language are relevant,”Creighton added. “What does it mean to be a settler in unceded territory? How we interact with the place and land around us.”

Linocut prints cover the gallery walls, showcasing a cultural history to invoke a dialogue on topics like division.

“The cemetery is right across from the gallery,” Creighton continued. “The sight of remembrance and text that can be found there connects Fort Langley with the exhibition.”

Beyond Barrier will be featured in the Fort Gallery from July 3 to 28. There will be an opening reception on July 5 and a concert with jazz musician Gord Edmunds on July 26, both taking place from 7 to 9 p.m.

People can visit www.fortgallery.ca for more information on Beyond Barrier.

Fort Gallery is located at 9048 Glover Rd and open Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

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