Tsema Igharas is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Tahltan First Nation. Igharas describes her methodology as Potlatch, a ceremony of reciprocation and nation building. Igharas writes that she understands her practice through the lens of Potlatch, in which every performance of artmaking is a “ceremony that affirms and solidifies relationships to every thing and body.” In her recent graduate exhibition, “LAND|MINE” (2016), at OCAD University, Igharas enacted these strategies of reciprocation and connections to land, with the goal of transferring “concepts and knowledge so the viewer can contemplate ideologies related to [land] beyond the white cube.” Focused on transferring knowledge about notions of land, as well as bridging Toronto and Tahltan territory, Igharas created a material library of rocks, copper, ceramics, construction orange, mirror and obsidian—materials that reference her Tahltan home. This library, and the performance Khohk’ätsskets’mä (2016), which activates them, affirm Igharas’s relationship to the land, its materials and its people.
Tsema Igharas Riot Rock Rattles 2016 Copper, rawhide and ceramic shell containing glass beads, dentalium shells, penny shards and Mount Edziza soil samples Dimensions variable PHOTO JONATHAN IGHARAS