tracts, rakes, tines, lake and sleeping grass is a short film documenting the inaugural seasonal land-based performance work. This four-hour performance captured in a five-minute duration took place on the ancestral territory of the Syilx Okanagan People, at a location the City of Kelowna calls Cedar Mountain Regional Park. The Okanagan and its inhabitants—animals, insects, vegetation and non-living beings—experience wildfires as a natural ecological process of renewal. Fire management strategies have also been utilized by Syilx firekeepers to rejuvenate the land for crops and game. However, more recently, to protect non-sustainable farms, wineries and cookie-cutter domiciles, these processes have been replaced by fire suppression measures, leading to more severe fires and devastation. To address these impacts and bring awareness to our surroundings, tracts, rakes, tines, lake and sleeping grass offers an embodied response to Land Acknowledgements, and their call for accountability from non-Indigenous persons, provoking decolonial responsibility through action and quantitative practice.
Artist Michaela Bridgemohan utilizes her sculptural piece thicc pick (2022) as a familiar relative, a co-performer and ancestor. The pick has touched hair and scalps of all kinds and is shared amongst sisters and brothers—promoting good growth and skin oils. The afro-pick’s history is rooted in intergenerational care, as well as being emblematic of social injustices and political sovereignty. These themes, histories and past lives connect to Bridgemohan’s body and are distributed through the act of combing. By directly working on the Land, Bridgemohan hopes to inspire viewers to consider their surroundings and cultural relations to return gratitude and love in a non-extractive way to the places that care and hold them so dearly.
Michaela Bridgemohan is a visual artist of Australian and Jamaican descent. Her work fluctuates between drawing, embroidery, photography and sculpture. She is captivated by the transformative play of biracial identity and how folklore can decode intersections in gender and sexuality. Using her own body, she explores this idea as a spectral. An enigmatic phenomenon whose nature is dual and subaltern.
Her work has been shown throughout Canada as well Internationally, including at Artscape Gibraltar, Marion Nicoll, Art Commons, the Queensland Conservatorium and Jugglers ArtSpace in Brisbane, Australia. She also participated in the Feminist Art Collective Residency in Toronto Ontario funded by the Alberta Foundation For The Arts.