Soundings: Tania Willard and Melody Courage

Tania Willard
Surrounded/Surrounding, 2018
Wood burning fire ring, laser etched leather, wood, vinyl transfer
Collection of the artist

Surrounded/Surrounding includes a wood-burning fire bowl, etched leather camp stools and a life-sized rendering of the artist’s wood pile in a graphic score. Written on the split logs and the spaces between them are references to the breathing, beating labour that creates what a fire needs, as well as the trees, sun, sky and ground that surrounds and creates all else. Cursive text adorns the twelve camp stools, shifting from embraced to embracing, from enclosed to enclosing. The installation anticipates the event it proposes and these words evoke the transition from proposition to action. In collaboration with composer Patrick Carrabré, Métis soprano Melody Courage interprets Willard’s Woodpile Score, reflecting on the themes of Surrounded/Surrounding in vocal performance.

On Monday, November 30 at 7:30pm EST / 4:30pm PST, Tania Willard will host an Instagram Live event (@willardart) on the Secwépemc Territory, where she will light a fire and ask people to join her remotely as witnesses. The Belkin will join Willard on Instagram Live (@belkinartgallery) and share our documentation of Melody Courage’s performance.

Tania Willard’s work is part of Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (September 8-December 6, 2020). For more information about Soundings programs and performances at the Belkin, click here.

Photos: Rachel Topham Photography
Video: Aya Garcia

Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts is a traveling exhibition curated by Candice Hopkins and Dylan Robinson, and organized by Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Canada and Independent Curators International (ICI). The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with the generous support from ICI’s International Forum and the ICI Board of Trustees. Additional support has been provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program, the Isabel and Alfred Bader Fund of Bader Philanthropies, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Kingston Arts Fund through the Kingston Arts Council, and the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund at Queen’s University.


November 30, 2020


Part of Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts

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