V-Formation represents a changing flock of women all unique in their experience of what it means to be Black in Canada today and the diasporic migrations that are inherent in all our histories. V-Formation is part of BODY LAND IDENTITY, a photographic series, video installation and empowerment created by Ella Cooper that reclaims representations of Black women and our bodies in the Canadian landscape / dominant visual culture. ‘Land’ serves as a metaphor for Canadian national identity, dominant society, First Nations territories and the place of Black women within it. This piece was created on Squamish territory with blessings from local Coast Salish elders when Ella was based in Vancouver. This project was created with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, in collaboration with inter-generational groups of women of Canadian African/Caribbean descent from Vancouver. Featuring : Josiane A Anthony, Vanessa Richards, Ruby Tierra Negra, Diane Roberts, Claire Campbell Williams, Tiya Zulu, Idel Mire & Dorla Harris.
Ella Cooper is an award winning cultural leader, producer, facilitator, artist, writer and programmer. She is founder of Black Women Film! Canada and is known for facilitating and designing transformational programs. Ella recently received the Tiffany’s Hometown Hero Award, was a 2019 TAC Mayors Arts Award nominee for cultural leadership and featured as one of 33 Black Women Making Change in Chatelaine magazine. Ella’s uses video, photography, illustration, textile, embodied movement and performance techniques to explore positive representations of the Black female body in Canada, create non-traditional images of motherhood and erasure, ecstatic nudes, BIPOC children’s stories and independent film works. Her latest photo series ‘Witness’ was featured as Editors Pick in Canadian Art Magazine. and she has been presented in galleries, public spaces and film festivals in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Berlin. At her new production company, Brown Rabbit Studios, Ella loves producing content for BIPOC children, writing DIY articles for CBC Parents and building her repertoire of fantastical illustrations while playing make believe with her rambunctious toddler.