Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds’ ‘Wheel: Overlays’ and ‘Native Hosts’—Positioning First Nations Art at UBC

The opening reception for Wheel: Overlays follows at 7:00 p.m. at the Museum of Anthropology.

Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds is a leading Native-American artist who has completed numerous site-specific installations and public art projects across North America. This talk is being presented in conjunction with his installation Wheel: Overlays at the Museum of Anthropology, and the outdoor art project Native Hosts that the artist has generously donated to the University Art Collection through the auspices of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. Heap of Birds’ talk will address these works and other similar projects that he has created during the past twenty years.

Wheel: Overlays has been conceived for MOA’s Great Hall and consists of ten semi-transparent “tree forms” set in a 30-foot circular arrangement. Each form is over ten feet high and its vertical structure references the forked-tree supports used in Plains Indians’ solstice lodges. Using text, dates, maps, diagrams, and symbolic motifs, Heap of Birds encodes Native American political history and experience and places it in relationship to Northwest Coast First Nations totem poles at the Museum. Both reference, codify, and record collective histories that are shared between Native peoples in Canada and the U.S.

Native Hosts consists of 12 aluminum signs which make reference to the relationship between First Nations and British Columbia. They will be located in 12 different locations across the UBC campus. These signs were previously exhibited on the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1991 as part of the exhibition Lost Illusions. Language has consistently been an important aspect of Heap of Birds’ work, and these signs use text in an imaginative and disconcerting way to stimulate thoughts about issues of history, public space, land claims, and even generosity and sharing.

Edgar Heap of Birds is Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma. He has been exhibiting since 1979 in the U.S.A., Canada, South Africa, Australia, and Europe.

This event is sponsored by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

For more information contact :
Julie Bevan at (604) 822-3640 or fax (604) 822-6689, julie.bevan@ubc.ca
Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC, 1825 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

Jennifer Webb at (604) 822.5950 or fax (604) 822.2974, jenwebb@interchange.ubc.ca
Museum of Anthropology, UBC, 6393 N.W. Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2