Rise and Fall
Rise and Fall
Nicolson, Marianne
91.1, 134.3cm height x 194.6. 194.6cm width
Accession Number
Private Development Public Art
Public Art
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The artwork consists of a four-part sculptural piece wrapping the four columns at the entrance to the building, which are rendered in 12mm blue/green glass cladding. Each pillar is visually unique, sandblasted with distinctive patterns which read as a cohesive narrative. The imagery used signals the major characters of the national signatories to the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement, pictured as their national animals in a pictographic style reminiscent of early Indigenous signatures on international treaty agreements. The depth of sandblast creates edges which when lit create a dynamic visual experience as light shifts from sunlit daylight to electrical illumination at night. Artist Statement My work stems from a strong belief in the value of Indigenous philosophies and ways of being on the land. It is also driven by a mandate for social justice and the well being of all peoples. Art, writing, performance, and academics are all platforms for the expression of these ideas. Fundamentally, it is about communication, resolution and inspiration. My inquiry questions the social and political contexts which frame the existence of my own Nation, the Dzawada’enuxw of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples. Our history, both magnificent and tragic, is deeply rooted in the lands we inhabit, the Kingcome Watershed and the Broughton Archipelago. Since contact, this relationship has been threatened by outside forces and we are under duress to hold onto our traditional ways of being. My practice is an attempt to manifest these philosophies into contemporary spaces and conversations. My hope is that through this process of expression that the ideas remain alive and that others can experience their value. I do this because I believe that Indigenous worldviews can benefit all peoples, in particular, our notions of community connection to one another and to the land.
Marianne Nicolson is an artist activist of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations. The Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw Nations are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwak’wala speaking peoples) of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She is trained in both traditional Kwakwaka’wakw forms and culture and contemporary gallery and museum-based practice. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1996), a Master of Fine Arts (2000) from the University of Victoria, as well as a Master of Arts (2005) in Linguistics and Anthropology and a PhD (2013) in Linguistics and Anthropology with a focus on space as expressed in the Kwak’wala language. Nicolson works as a Kwakwaka’wakw cultural researcher and historian, as well as an advocate for Indigenous land rights. Her practice is multi-disciplinary encompassing photography, painting, carving, video, installation, monumental public art, writing and speaking. All her work is political in nature and seeks to uphold Kwakwaka’wakw traditional philosophy and worldview through contemporary mediums and technology. Exhibitions include the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia; The Vancouver Art Gallery, The National Museum of the American Indian in New York, Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Ontario, Museum Arnhem, Netherlands and many others. Major monumental public artworks are situated in Vancouver International Airport, the Canadian Embassy in Amman, Jordan and the Canadian Embassy in Paris, France.