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At The Gallery – Traces by Jade Ariana

December 6, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - February 22, 2024 @ 5:00 pm PST

December 6th 2023 – February 22nd 2024, Massy Arts will host, Traces, a window installation by Vancouver-based emerging Black artist Jade Ariana.

Exhibited in one of the building’s windows, the installation investigates in-betweens of memory, heritage, and anti-colonial modes of embodiment. The artist says:

A trace is variably defined as a copy, a vestige, a discovery, and, compellingly “a very small quantity, especially one too small to be measured accurately.”

In Traces, the act of tracing services an investigation that muddles through fractured cultural memory. This exploration is made through the seeking of remnants found in ante-colonial modes of embodiment. Using line, gesture and ideas of doubling to demonstrate the notion of a self defined through affective memory, connection to dreams, intuition, and ancestral transmission, a decolonized self emerges that exceeds the notion of a discrete individual.

Here, incompleteness provides a pathway rather than a barrier to wholeness for African diasporic people arrivant to Turtle Island. It is through the immeasurable and intangible that we find affirmations of humanness, and generate attempts at recuperating ourselves from subjugation based on racial difference in the wake of the obliterating logic of colonization and racism.


This project is supported by the Community Arts Council of Vancouver + First Peoples’ Cultural Council.

The Massy Arts Gallery is located at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver.
The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm to 5pm.
Entrance is free, and masks are mandatory.

To contact the gallery, send an email to: info@massyarts.com.

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As a Black artist and cultural worker, I am driven by a desire to reflect and re-frame realities of Black life that are at once playful, resilient, and reverent. Through the use of my physical body, organic matter, family artifacts, found objects and traditional mixed media, I uncover and recover untold histories. I am fascinated by the multiplicity of origin stories carried in both tangible objects and intangible lifeforms.

I use junk, personal artifacts and affect to articulate a trans-personal experience of collective Black cultural history and memory. The false dichotomy between the mundane and the spiritual is a common theme in my work. Working with materials that are outside of the institutional limitations of fine art reflect that strategy and worldview.

The starting point for my work is the feminized labor of reckoning with ancestral trauma which is often invisible and unacknowledged. I bring these practices squarely into visibility and into present through the juxtaposition of the materials of late capitalist production with remembrance. I present thick and immersive paintings and installations that ask us to take up the urgent task of personal and collective healing, and asserts that in order to do so no material or strategy available should be prohibited.

Developing a language for transmission of ancestral memories through objects is a central part of my arts practice. The body functions both as a vessel for engaging with these memories and experimenting with the outcome of that engagement. One of the possibilities of that experiment is the invention of resourceful, playful and never-before seen modalities of opening to spirit.

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December 6, 2023 @ 12:00 pm PST
February 22 @ 5:00 pm PST