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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

Truth to Material | Krista Belle Stewart

Film & video Visual arts
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Nanaimo Art Galelry

Nanaimo, BC

Directions: By Car From South Island, stay on Highway 1 (Nicol Street) into downtown Nanaimo. Just past Port Place Mall turn right on to Commercial Street. The Gallery is three blocks up on the right side of the street. From North Island, turn left at Exit 18, Jingle Pot Road/City Centre and continue down Third Street. Third Street will turn into Fitzwilliam Street, and Fitzwilliam Street will then turn into Bastion. The Gallery is one unit down from Bastion & Commercial Street intersection. From Terminal Avenue/Island Highway, turn left onto Comox Road, then turn right on to Chapel Street, which will lead to Commercial Street. The Gallery is just past the Bastion & Commercial intersection on the left side of the street.



Offered in English.

Wheelchair accessible and has gender-neutral washrooms.


Truth to Material

Krista Belle Stewart

September 20 to November 10, 2019

Krista Belle Stewart is an artist and a member of the Upper Nicola Band of the Syilx/Okanagan Nation, currently based in Berlin. Her work with video, land, performance, photography, textiles, and sound unfolds and draws out personal and political narratives over long periods of time.

In 2006, she traveled to the Karl May Museum in Radebeul, Germany, where she met with ‘The Band of Broken Arrows’ one of many groups of German citizens who call themselves ‘Indianer’ inspired by the fictional novels of author Karl May. Indianer dress up in costume and perform what they imagine to be a North American Indigenous lifestyle. Stewart documented her experience during this trip, but waited to further develop the project.

It has now been thirteen years since Stewart’s initial meeting with this community. After returning to Germany as an artist-in-residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, she reconnected with the group of Indianer she met during her first visit. The number of people in the community has significantly dropped, almost by half. However, the culture of appropriation continues on. This summer, she was invited to participate in a large gathering of nearly 1000 Indianer from all over Europe. Enacting a kind of inverted anthropology, Stewart is developing a new body of work revolving around these encounters for her solo exhibition at Nanaimo Art Gallery. While Indianer communities may seem at a distance, this exhibition can also be a point of reflection on the legacies of cultural inequality in British Columbia.

Considering what happens when cultural appropriation becomes tradition, Krista Belle Stewart’s project is the third exhibition in a year in which Nanaimo Art Gallery asks the question: what are generations?

Image courtesy of Krista Belle Stewart


Nanaimo Art Gallery

Nanaimo Art Gallery is located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. The Gallery enhances the cultural environment of Vancouver Island, serving a regional population base of approximately 225,000, through exhibitions, education, and outreach that encourages active public involvement with the visual arts.