Marika St. Rose Yeo is a visual artist from Treaty 4 territory, Saskatchewan. Her artistic works and research are concerned with healing, justice and transformation through creative practice. 

Her solo exhibition, Material as Archive, curated by Alexa Heenan, is showing in the Campbell River Art Gallery’s Satellite Gallery from May 13-August 19, 2023, with an opening reception and curatorial talk May 13 from 3-5pm.

The show explores the premise of “search” and how we navigate our histories through materiality. 

For Yeo, this process consists of the physical interaction with clay as she shapes the organic material into unique fragmented vessels while simultaneously contemplating the intricate relationship between the raw material and its role as an archive of  knowledge, experiences, culture, and history for herself and others.

Drawing inspiration from her ancestral roots in West Africa,  the Caribbean, Europe and Canada, Yeo pieces together unique vessels from fragments of clay that she adorns with organic, geometric and floral designs found within each cultures’ artistic traditions. As a result, each sculptural vessel embodies Yeo’s process of gathering,  layering and stitching together a material archive of knowledge, experiences, culture, and  history. 

Marika St. Rose Yeo has a BFA with a major in ceramics from the University of Regina and a PhD in Critical and Creative Social Justice Studies through the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, at the University of British Columbia. She has been part of a number of exhibitions across the prairies and most recently her work has been displayed in the Vancouver area including at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s exhibit Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo.

Curator Alexa Heenan is originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory. She holds a BA with Honours in Art History from the University of Regina and obtained her MA in Art History and Visual Studies from the University of Victoria. Heenan’s graduate research focused on contemporary Indigenous art and photography and its ability to challenge and present alternative narratives within colonial spaces and established histories.

Heenan works full-time as a researcher for various First Nations across Canada and pursues curating in her spare time. She enjoys collaborating with and supporting emerging artists to highlight new voices within the field of contemporary art.  

The Gallery is open Thursday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. The Show opens May 13 and closes August 19, 2023.