Dana Claxton: To Mark on Surface
November 6, 2009 – January 8, 2010
Main Gallery | Centre for the Arts | W600


To Mark on Surface

Dana Claxton

3 Channel Video Installation
Reception: November 6, 4-6 PM
Main Gallery

How we render ourselves to exist and to leave a marking of who we are is an ancient practice in many cultures. This new work records the ancient site of Writing on Stone and brings those renderings into the gallery space. I have placed these drawings side by side with the drawings by Nicolas de Grandmaison. I have attempted to show two ways of rendering and marking on surface. One is in stone and nature, the other on paper. One is considered tribal and the other is considered western. Although, I don’t look at either being different from each other, to me they are both makings and renderings.

The tribal work was made by Plains people or perhaps Star People and ancient people. The western work recorded people from ancient cultures of the Plains area. I worked with both de Grandmaison’s finished and unfinished work as so many of his lines are like the lines of the ancient works from Writing on Stone. I have shown both his finished and unfinished works, as well as details of his line and form, and edited this into the lines and forms of Writing on Stone. I have attempted to meld and collapse two seemingly different approaches to rendering existence and essentially tried to make them as one. Regardless of race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, cultural practice or anything else that creates divisions – this new work combines video art and the Lakota worldview that everything is related “mitakuye oyasin” – all my relations, everything is related.
The form and lines that have been placed upon the stone are magnificent. The lines move and dance even. The work is alive. And similar to de Grandmaison’s pastels, his lines and form are alive and passionate.

Dana Claxton


Dana Claxton works in film, video, photography, multi channel installation, performance, curation, aboriginal broadcasting and pedagogy. She work has been exhibited internationally and held in many public collections including the National Gallery of Canada. She has received numerous awards including the VIVA Award and the Eiteljorg Fellowship. Currently she is the Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University and her artwork has been selected for the 17th Biennale of Sydney 2010.

The main intent of her practice has been to seek justice for aboriginal people through the arts and share the possibilities of spirit in the gallery, the class and on the screen. Of Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux descent, she was born in Yorkton Saskatchewan and lives in Vancouver.