The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is pleased to welcome Whess Harman as the 2021 UBC Okanagan Gallery Artist in Residence from Friday, May 28 – Friday, June 11, 2021, in the FINA Gallery on campus at UBC Okanagan.
During Whess’s residency, they will experiment with new iterations or multiples of the Potlatch Punk series by thinking about the generational removal between language; linking to thoughts of digital data storage; file formats that will be less compatible with future softwares, how to recover and rebuild those files and look between the gaps.
Whess Harman’s new work will be on view at the FINA Gallery in an exhibition curated by UBC Okanagan Gallery Curator, Stacey Koosel. The exhibition Lossy: How to Save File for Future Transmission will run from Friday, June 11 to Friday, September 10, 2021.
Whess Harman’s Potlatch Punk series showcases their multidisciplinary practice including beading, illustration, text and poetry using denim and motorcycle jackets as mediums of communication. Their ongoing Potlatch Punk series explores broader themes of homage, memory, identity and more specifically celebrates Indigenous identity, resistance, visibility, and interrogations of wealth.
As Potlatch Punk grew in demand, Whess Harman experienced the jackets taking on a life of their own, from requests to purchase, loan, exhibit and commissioning new works the role of the artist morphed from creator to caretaker. A shift was required from the slow process of the traditional handiwork of beading and sewing to digital-age, punk-influenced DIY while preserving the joy of creating and sharing works with a wider audience.