Musician and soundscape designer Gurpreet Chana is featured in two public events to be held at the SFU Galleries’ Audain Gallery in Vancouver in July. The talk/performance July 9 and kirtan July 10 are being held in conjunction with Nep Sidhu’s Medicine for a Nightmare exhibition now on at the gallery. Photo by Sarjoun Faour

Sikh artist Nep Sidhu pays tribute to community healing

Free events at the Audain Gallery draw inspiration from Nep Sidhu exhibition

SFU Galleries invites Lower Mainland Sikh communities, and anyone interested in personal and collective practices of healing, to two free events being held in conjunction with an ongoing exhibition in downtown Vancouver.

The Sikh histories, memories and cultural practices of sustenance explored in the multi-media installation by Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist Nep Sidhu, entitled Medicine for a Nightmare (they called, we responded), are the inspiration for performances July 9 and 10 by multi-instrumentalist Gurpreet Chana.

“I think the works in the exhibition are quite phenomenal,” says curator cheyanne turions. In various ways they demonstrate how memorial practices can promote the healing process and help write histories that empower people today and celebrate cultural knowledge and traditions.

Here’s a snapshot of the free events you’ll find at the Audain Gallery, co-presented by SFU Galleries and the Indian Summer Festival:

  • Talk and Performance: Omnipresence through the Instrumental Chana offers his own personal response to Sidhu’s work and the emotions and feelings it generates. He’ll use such percussive instruments as the hang and the tablix – a digitally integrated tabla – to create new ways to combine traditional sounds. Tuesday, July 9, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Kirtan (exhibition response): Come As You Are/Medicine for A Nightmare Chana leads this participatory performance open to all, the theme of which will be a response to the historical references and contemporary practices represented in the exhibition. Nep Sidhu will be present for the kirtan. Wednesday, July 10, 6-8 p.m.

Running now through Aug. 3 at the Audain Gallery, Medicine for a Nightmare features a variety of contemporary works by Sidhu, as well as his collaborations on other pieces with fellow artists Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Nicholas Galanin and Michael Reynolds.

Large tapestries tell a story

Visitors will be mesmerized by the two anchor pieces in the exhibition, a pair of large tapestries that are part of Sidhu’s ongoing When My Dreams Come Knocking They Watch series.

Medicine for a Nightmare (2019) conjures images of the Hazūr Sāhib, a Sikh holy site. Axes in Polyrhythm (2018), produced in dialogue with Galanin, depicts Tlingit/Aleut cultural forms as well as carving tools made by Galanin, alongside shastras and chakras used by some Sikhs.

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The Audain Gallery is located at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in the former Woodward’s Building at 149 W. Hastings St. For more information about the exhibit or other events at SFU Galleries, visit sfu.ca/galleries/about.html.

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Artist Nep Sidhu’s tapestry, Medicine for a Nightmare, is one of two such pieces on exhibit at the Audain Gallery in downtown Vancouver, as part of the show entitled Medicine for a Nightmare (they called, we responded). A joint presentation of SFU Galleries and the Indian Summer Festival, it runs now through Aug. 3 Photo by Blaine Campbell

Video still from artist Nep Sidhu’s collaboration with Michael Reynolds, Channel Seven, entitled Devotional System Interruption.

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