Invisible Forces: Tiffany Shaw and Krystle Silverfox


Invisible Forces guide us through our lives, through ethereal worlds, symbolism, dimensions and the passages of time. The unseen is often more powerful than the seen, the unknown holds more power than the known when we activate our senses. These Invisible forces can help us navigate this earthly, corporeal existence of strained relationships between bodies and lands.

In Krystle Silverfox’s anthropomorphic No word for goodbye (2023) the land bleeds – bright red blood, from the branch of a tree, reflecting on the pain caused by a colonially extractive economy in Canada. The invisible wound of the exploitation of natural resources is manifested in the blood red fringe. Silverfox’s Landmark (2022) demonstrates the connection to how one navigates the land, and how we navigate our bodies. Body and culture merge in her monochrome photography, portrait and cartography. As the Silverfox explains, peoples of the North West Coast wore their art on the clothing, to always carry it with them. In a minimalist nod the artist recreates the ovoid forms of the art of the North West Coast using her body and photography.

Tiffany Shaw’s large scale installation, my children, my mother, her mother and their mother, and their mother, and their mother, and their mother….. nitawasimisak, nikawiy, okawiya ekwa okawiwawa, okawiyiwa, ekwa okawiyiwa ekwa okawiyiwa…..  (2021 – current) merges futuristic, architectural structures rooted on the unshakable foundation of the Indigenous matriarchy. When Shaw’s mother passed away she found comfort in knitting, the tactile, repetitive action brought her peace and a connection to those who came before. The mylar material in her installation is also knitted, acknowledging the ongoing grieving process changing over time but always present.

Bodies and the land, mothers and ancestors. Invisible forces are at work, in memory, labour and invocations of the land, these unknown and unseen elements can inspire and scare, destroy and protect.

This exhibition is part of the Indigenous Art Intensive, organized by the UBC Okanagan Gallery, curated by Dr. Stacey Koosel and supported by the BC Arts Council.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *