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Tania Willard: dissimulation
September 15 – November 5, 2017



BURNABY, BC –The Burnaby Art Gallery (BAG) is pleased to present Tania Willard: dissimulation, a multidisciplinary exhibition featuring works by BC-based Indigenous artist/curator Tania Willard (Secwépemc Nation), alongside her collaborators Gabrielle Hill, Peter Morin, her family, home community and Secwépemc lands and territories.


These three artists, and their relationships to land, make up the New BC Indian Art and Welfare Society Collective, often creating work at Willard’s BUSH Gallery, a residency space in Secwépemculecw, the territory of the Secwépemc Nation. BUSH Gallery acts as a conceptual space for land-based art and action led by Indigenous artists.


The public is invited to an artist talk with Willard on Thursday, September 14 from 6-7pm at the Burnaby Art Gallery. The exhibition opening will follow the artist talk from 7-9pm. The public has the opportunity to meet the artist and to find out more about Willard’s highly collaborative practice, including further insight into BUSH Gallery. 

“The BUSH Gallery rez-idency was designed and programmed in order to activate concepts and ideas of contemporary Indigenous art, to further explore the parameters of BUSH Gallery and to build on past artist rez-idencies,” says Willard.  “A goal of the BUSH Gallery is to articulate Indigenous creative land practices, which are born out of a lived connection to the land. In the province of British Columbia, this lived connection to the land means a century and a half of land rights and legal struggles begun by our ancestors that continue to this day.”


The title of the exhibition, dissimulation, “implies a concealment of thought, disguise of one’s character or perhaps a hidden objective,” says Jennifer Cane, Assistant Curator at the Burnaby Art Gallery. “Dissimulation, for the purposes of this exhibition, is also akin to trickery and mimesis, the transformation of one material to another, the relationship between the traditional and contemporary, and between Indigenous and other cultures.” 

Reclamation of land, language and culture form the thematic of this show, with images that challenge a history of colonialism and (mis)representation. The exhibition features artwork in a variety of mediums including photograms, woodcuts, digital prints, silkscreens, video and textile work.


An exhibition catalogue features an introduction by Jennifer Cane and entries from Tania Willard and Tara Hogue—curator, writer and Vancouver Art Gallery’s new senior curatorial fellow focusing on Indigenous art. 


“[Willard] interrupts the colonial desire to consume images of otherness and claims these images for herself and for her community. Confronting history means confronting a history of representation,” writes Hogue.


Willard and Hogue have worked together previously on two exhibitions about the Indian Residential School system: NETETH: Going Out of the Darkness and Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools


The exhibition catalogue will be available for purchase for $15 at the Burnaby Art Gallery from September 14. Dissimulation will be on display at the Burnaby Art Gallery from September 15-November 5, 2017. For more information:




Tania Willard has worked as a curator in residence with grunt gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery, and her past curatorial projects include Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, a national touring exhibition, CUSTOM MADE (translation) at Kamloops Art Gallery, and select recent curatorial work includes: Nanitch: Historical BC PhotographyUnceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun as well as LandMarks 2017/Repères 2017. For more information:

Since 1967, the Burnaby Art Gallery (BAG) has been dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting a contemporary and historical visual art program by local, national and internationally recognized artists. The BAG acts as a leader in the collection, preservation and exhibition of artists who choose to work on paper–the only public art museum in Canada dedicated to works of art on paper. Through our collection and exhibition practices the BAG endeavours to represent the best and most promising Canadian artists. The BAG cares for and manages over 5,000 works of art in the City of Burnaby’s Permanent Art Collection. In 2017, BAG is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a full year of special events, exhibitions and programs.