Photography by Atelier Pictures
This episode kicks off a series of conversations with the 2020 Emerging Artist Residents who recently spent the month of October at Centrum in Fort Worden State Park. Today, we’re starting with Russna Kaur and Chase Keetley, whose conversation explores each of their relationships to place, space, and home, navigating racialized expectations and contexts, and the values and ideologies that inform their practices and pursuits.
Russna Kaur (b. 1991, Toronto, ON; lives and works in Vancouver) is a mixed media artist whose work explores alternative ways of addressing her identity as a Canadian of South Asian diaspora through an experimental painting practice. She graduated from the University of Waterloo earning a BA with a major in Fine Arts: Studio Specialization (2013) and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2019) where she received a Master in Fine Arts. Kaur was awarded the Gathie Falk Visual Arts Scholarship, the University Women’s Club of Vancouver Graduate Scholarship, the Audain Faculty of Art Graduate Teaching Fellowship and was shortlisted for the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada Graduate Scholarship. This year Kaur was awarded a Burrard Arts Foundation Artist Residency in Vancouver and is the recipient of the Takao Tanabe Painting Prize for emerging painters in British Columbia and the IDEA Art Award.
Chase Keetley is a multi-disciplinary African-Canadian artist whose work is based in the Black Experience. He primarily investigates the mimicry and use of Blackness like the appropriation of cultural practices and iconography rooted in the Pan-African Ethnography. Through breaking down the identities, desires, and investments of non-Black people and how they live vicariously through Black Culture without actively dismantling the issues that coincide within its existence.
In the summer of 2018 he started a community organization called Black Arts Vancouver. Chase has dedicated a majority of his practice to the research on British Columbia’s Black History, in order to provide proper information and education in their workshops. As well as provide secure spaces for Vancouver’s Black youth to not only learn about themselves, but where they stand in history apart from the white settler narrative.